Channel 4 will again run its shows on YouTube – this time alongside its own ads
Channel 4 is to make hundreds of hours of its shows available for free on YouTube and agreed a deal to sell its own advertising around them.
To help boost revenues from the strategic partnership, Channel 4 has created a dedicated YouTube team within its commercial arm 4Sales. It’s the first time the Google-owned platform has relinquished control of ad sales to a broadcaster in the UK or Europe.
The deal is part of the broadcaster’s five-year Future4 digital transformation plan, which aims to make online advertising 30% of its revenue by 2025. Channel 4’s chief executive officer Alex Mahon said she hopes the partnership will “engage even more viewers through the enhanced reach and digital scale of YouTube, combined with the dynamism of the Channel 4 brand.”
Full episodes of 8 out of 10 Cats will be on YouTube / Channel 4
Content will be rolled out this month until the end of 2022, with the first cohort of titles to include: 8 Out Of 10 Cats; SAS: Who Dares Wins; Gemma Collins: Self-Harm and Me; Kathy Burke: Money Talks; Location, Location, Location; and The Dog House.
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Some shows will also be made available on YouTube 30 days after first being broadcast on Channel 4 and E4.
“Innovative strategic partnerships are Channel 4’s specialty, and this new relationship with YouTube is another [that] will ensure we continue to keep growing our reach with young audiences and build on our unrivaled digital success,” Mahon added.
Channel 4 first struck a deal with YouTube in 2009, becoming one of the first broadcasters in the world to make its shows available on the platform, but five years later removed full episodes from the platform. Since 2014 C4 has used YouTube for promotional purposes, clippings of long-form titles and to air short-form digital-only shows featuring comedians such as Amelia Dimoldenberg and Rosie Jones.
Channel 4’s YouTube page currently boasts nearly 2 million subscribers, with videos hitting hundreds of thousands of views.
The news comes as Channel 4 continues its fight to stay publicly owned after the government decided to push ahead with privatization. The broadcaster has also recently offered to relocate from its London HQ and said it would raise £1bn in private investment to boost its digital strategy.