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Media Channel 4

Channel 4 reports higher young audiences amid lockdown


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

April 3, 2020 | 3 min read

It is no secret that TV viewing has increased these last few weeks with the nation in lockdown. Research from Channel 4 has attempted to add some colour and nuance to that by digging out insights about its newly-swollen audience.

Channel 4

Channel 4 study finds

A weighted study pulled 1,400+ of its 'Core4 community members' noted an upsurge in youth consumption, in particular, 44% of 16-34s claim to be watching even more TV. Gogglebox, Derry Girls, First Dates, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Leg were the respondents' most favoured shows on Channel 4.

It also dug into TV as a trusted source, 82% of 16-34s said they trust TV channels for information on Covid-19. This compared to 63% for newspapers and just 41% for social media, where 64% say they have read or seen fake news about Covid-19.

The broadcaster also shared some viewership stats.

Last week Channel 4’s Evening News programme doubled its audience aged 16-34 compared to the same week in 2019.

On Friday (27 March), the return of Friday Night Dinner attracted an average overnight audience of 2.4 million viewers and the biggest share of young viewers for any comedy series from any commercial broadcaster in over a decade (40.6%).

Gogglebox’s average overnight audience was up by 21% this year compared to all episodes in 2019, which was the highest audience since 2016 (4.9 million).

Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer pulled its biggest ever overnight audience averaging over 4.4 million viewers, with 39.6% share of young viewers.

Young people were almost 1 in 5 more likely to be bingeing on box-sets than usual, they are 56% more likely to be bingeing series compared to the average adult too.

Matt Salmon, director of sales of Channel 4, said: “This deep-dive into the current mindsets of our audience, in particular our young audience, underlines the hugely important role that TV has to play at times of national crisis. People are increasingly looking to trusted brands for information, entertainment and more importantly as a source of connection and comfort as they navigate the new state of normal life they find themselves in.”

You can read the full research here.

Of course it is not all business as usual in TV, Steven Ladurantaye, head of news and current affairs at STV, talked The Drum through the challenges and opportunities the lockdown presents.

Media Channel 4

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