Edinburgh International TV Festival: Multi-platform is the key focus for Channel 4

Multi-platform remains a key focus for Channel 4 with steps constantly being made to reinforce areas that attract audiences, according to Channel 4's chief creative officer Jay Hunt.

Crazy about 1D: 'perfect for multi-platform'

Speaking at the Edinburgh International TV Festival today Hunt said the broadcaster's young audience drives it to constantly develop new ways to change its viewers from "passive watchers to active consumers".

One of Channel 4's newest launches in the multi-platform space is 4Now, something which Jay describes as a "social media bubble" aimed toward those looking to interact with the content produced by Channel 4.

She cited shows such as last week's documentary 'Crazy About One Direction', a documentary focusing on the boy band's obsessive legion of fans, as an example of the kind of content well-suited for multi-platform as it was the "most tweeted about show Channel 4 has had".

As well as multi-platform another breakthrough area high on the broadcaster's agenda is 'live programming',having aired shows including 'Easter Eggs Live' and 'Bedtime Live' in the last year.

Of the live format Hunt said: "We don't just do live for the sake of it, there has to be a reason for it to be live and it has to enhance the experience".

In discussing both shows - 'Easter Eggs Live' and 'Bedtime Live' - Hunt describes them as "confident" things for the broadcaster to do. Particularly in response to 'Easter Eggs Live' a natural history type show, traditionally the domain of the BBC.

"Natural history programming on Channel 4 needs to be innovative as we don't want it to feel like an 'also-ran' from the BBC. It needs to be confident and it needs to take risks. We take punts on our programming, sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't."

Addressing the fact that not all programmes have engaged audiences over the last year Hunt admitted for broadcasters like Channel 4, trying to continuously "reinvent" themselves, there will be "ups and downs".

Asked about the week in which Channel 5 outperformed Channel 4 Hunt said the figures were not as clear as Channel 5 had made out, and admitted: "if I were a PR for Channel 5 and saw a way to look at the figures and take out all the hours between midnight and 6am and cock my head to look at them I'd have done the same thing".

Moving onto the year ahead, Hunt discussed new additions to the schedule including a Danny Boyle drama, adding "great drama on Channel 4 is the dividends of Big Brother beginning to pay off".

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.