Advanced Television

More young adults watching Channel 4

May 4, 2020

Young viewers have flocked to Channel 4 since lockdown began with its viewing share amongst 16-34-year olds up +19 per cent in peak-time over the ‘stay at home’ period (March 23rd onward) and up +11 per cent in daytime. Channel 4 says it is the only commercial public service broadcaster to have increased gains with young viewers across both day-parts.

16-34-year-old audiences are turning to TV in huge numbers with all-day linear viewing among Channel 4’s key young demographic up +29 per cent for volume, while share of youngs has increased +11 per cent YoY. In the first four weeks of lockdown alone, young viewing volume increased 29 per cent – the biggest increase of any commercial PSB.

The success has been driven by a range of programmes including Channel 4 News – which has increased its young viewing share by 60 per cent – and many of the current affairs programmes Channel 4 has broadcast to respond to the Covid-19 crisis such as Coronavirus: How To Isolate Yourself and Coronavirus: Can You Avoid It, as well as lockdown shows like Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry On.

There have been record young audiences coming to Gogglebox (hitting 46 per cent 16-34 viewing share), Friday Night Dinner has achieved the biggest ever young share for a comedy on Channel 4 (49 per cent 16-34 share); and Celebrity Bake Off drew its highest young share on Channel 4 to date (47 per cent).

As the youngest-skewing PSB, Channel 4 also saw its best March performance in seven years for the main channel amongst 16-34-year-old audiences with an overall average of 8.06 per cent share over the month.

The data also shows that nearly half (47 per cent) of the youngest skewing broadcasts during lockdown came from Channel 4 or E4, whilst nine out of the top 20 16-34 programmes for volume across all channels came from Channel 4, excluding news specials.

Ian Katz, Director of Programmes at Channel 4 said: “With huge audience increases across the whole of the TV marketplace, more and more young people have been turning to TV as a method of both distraction and entertainment and at Channel 4 we have been working hard to respond to those needs. Reaching this audience is part of our core mission at all times and I’m particularly proud that young people are coming to us in increasing numbers, throughout the day, during this unique moment in history.”

Channel 4 has also used its reach with young audiences to help deliver vital public health messaging through the lockdown period. The channel’s #StayAtHome digital on-screen graphic message has been seen by an average 64 per cent of 16-34s on average eight times, across Channel 4’s channels.

All 4 has achieved its highest number of quarterly views ever across Q1 of this year. Views during the nation’s first two weeks of lockdown increased by a significant 30 per cent compared with the same period last year among 16-34-year olds with almost 80 per cent of all 16-34s registered with All 4 in the UK.


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