Advanced Television

Young viewers, crime content fuel C4 streaming records

April 12, 2024

Channel 4 delivered its biggest ever month of streaming in March, with viewing up 40 per cent year-on-year to 6.9 billion viewer minutes, boosted by growth from young viewers and a trio of new factual titles.

BARB data for the first quarter of 2024 – published as the channel pursues its Fast Forward strategy to become a public service streamer – shows that 18 per cent of all Channel 4 viewing now comes from streaming, underlining the channel’s pioneering shift to a digital-first model.

The industry data reveals 18 per cent growth in viewer minutes among 16 to 34-year-olds in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023, and that Channel 4 remains the youngest profiling PSB streaming player, with 27 per cent of viewing from young audiences. Amongst 16-34s, 38 per cent of all Channel 4 viewing is now streamed, compared to 29 per cent in Q1 2023.

Documentaries and ‘constructed factual’ shows touching on real crime stories featured prominently in the quarter, with three new shows – The Jury: Murder Trial, To Catch a Copper and The Push: Murder on the Cliff – landing into the top 10 streaming viewer minutes for both 16-34s and all individuals, within a 28-day consolidation window:

Other popular shows since the start of the year – also within a 28-day consolidation window – include reality juggernaut MAFS Australia, with 1.4 billion streaming viewer minutes for season 11, much loved returner The Great Pottery Throwdown, which recorded 362 million viewer minutes, thriller Truelove, which sparked debate over assisted dying and registered 241 million streaming viewer minutes, and definitive documentary series The Rise and Fall of Boris Johnson with 141 million viewer minutes.

Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer Ian Katz said: “I’m delighted to see our streaming-first strategy delivering across genres. In last the few months we’ve had a hugely successful run of factual programming combining purpose and scale. Several of these shows have used the appeal of true crime stories to tackle big topics – like police malpractice, honour killing and debates about the justice system – through projects that are genuinely revelatory and innovative, and get people of all ages talking. This data shows a really strong start to what will be a transformative year, after we laid out our Fast Forward strategy and began reengineering our business to become a genuinely digital-first public service streamer.”

March was Channel 4’s biggest streaming month since BARB started recording in November 2021 and beat the channel’s previous record from October 2023. The March 2024 total of 6.9 billion viewer minutes compares to March 2023 total of 4.9 billion viewer minutes. The 18 per cent growth in viewer minutes among 16 to 34-year-olds represents an increase from 3.2 billion in Q1 2023 Q1 to 3.8 billion in Q1 2024.

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