Channel 4 boosts 4oD VOD with mobile offline and live features

Editor | 09-11-2012

Maintaining the momentum it has gained with digital products throughout 2012, Channel 4 has unveiled a range of new digital platforms to build on its core video-on-demand (VOD) offering.

The UK’s fourth largest broadcaster says its aim is to build on what it calls “the huge existing success” of 4oD which it further claims as the UK’s most successful commercial VOD service, reaching nearly one third of all young people in the UK on a monthly basis.

From early 2013, all of Channel 4’s main channels will be available to watch live on iOS and Android devices. By then it will add mobile offline viewing capability for 4oD, a move that it says will see it become the first commercial broadcaster to launch free ad-supported offline viewing. With a new 4oD ‘Pause and play’ feature across platforms, viewers will be able to pause a programme on 4oD on one platform and then resume watching from the same point on another device.

The three new products will form part of Channel 4’s viewer relationship management programme designed to engage and reward its registered viewers. Through this programme Channel 4 claims that it will be the first UK broadcaster to embrace using viewer data to inform its strategy. It confirmed that its database of registered viewers will exceed six million by the end of November 2011, with registrations continuing to grow at a rate of over 10,000 a day. One in three 16-34-year-olds is now registered with the broadcaster.

The station’s new head of digital & partnership innovation, Jonathan Lewis, also revealed that in 2013 the broadcaster will work with selected clients to take new data initiatives to market. This will include offering TV-buying audiences on 4oD, developing interest-based behavioural audiences allowing advertisers to target people rather than content, and allowing advertisers to effectively target people known to be active in a specific category based on previous user behaviour and engagement.

In 2013 Channel 4 will also launch a new digital ad product, Adapt, which for the first time will bring together Channel 4’s data insight with its VOD innovation and which will enable advertisers to target logged-on users based upon their age, gender and location.