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Channel 4 tool lets advertisers use their own data to target custom VOD audiences

Channel 4 enables advertisers to utilise their own audience segments in VOD ads / Channel 4

Channel 4 has introduced 'Project Agora', a tool that enables advertisers to run their own custom audience segments across Channel 4's platforms.

Speaking at an Upfronts event at London's Roundhouse, Channel 4 chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan introduced the feature, which is reportedly GDPR-compliant and doesn't use cookies.

It will open up Channel 4’s 20 million active registered viewers to advertisers who can now use first-party data segments to build their own audiences.

Over 70% of Channel 4's All 4 revenue is currently generated through advertisers buying against first-party registered viewer data. Channel 4 said the new feature allows advertisers to leverage their own audience segments to increase "the scale and cost-effectiveness of their efforts to reach young audiences".

It is an "opportunity unrivalled in the broadcaster VoD market" said Channel 4. The feature will launch in autumn as the broadcaster hopes to power up the utility of its video-on-demand targeting on its VoD platform, All 4.

Jonathan Lewis, head of digital and partnership innovation at Channel 4, who is leading the product development said: "Coming off the back of the launch of Dynamic TV earlier this year — which enables potentially thousands of variations of data-driven creative to be served across big-screen devices like smart TVs — there really isn't a better time for advertisers to create personalised and targeted ad campaigns with Channel 4.

“Not many publishers have the volume of registered data that we do and that means we can offer this data-matching proposition to our clients. We believe this will put us another step ahead of our competition and equal the offering that you can get from the pureplay digital platforms — but within a much safer and compliant environment.”

The UK's leading broadcasters are becoming increasingly cosy with each other in realisation that they can use their combined scale and IPs to attract more spend back into the medium of TV — both linear and its targetted counterpart.

Back in February Channel 4 revamped and refreshed All 4 and introduced a paid tier that eliminates advertising.

Alice Tonge, head of 4creative, led the rebrand of the service. She recently departed the company after 15 years.

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