British public broadcaster Channel 4 is planning to launch its own international advertising-based video on-demand service, as part of the network’s ambitions to expand its brand outside of the UK.
Channel 4 is already behind international subscription-based streaming service Walter Presents, a joint-venture with London-based Global Series Network, which has already launched in foreign markets including the United States, Italy and Australia. The planned AVOD platform would offer content from Walter Presents, as well as news programming.
“The Channel 4 brand commands huge creative respect internationally – whether it is through the global formats that we help create, the strength of our international news, or the success of Film4,” said Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, who declined to discuss potential launch territories for the new streamer or the timeline for its arrival.
“We think that we have the opportunity to preserve what makes us British and distinctive whilst building our business even more outside the UK, find more ways to support and incentivize global growth for production partners while extending Channel 4’s reach, growing our revenue streams and projecting British culture and values abroad. A more expansive Channel 4 can doubtless benefit both the UK creative economy and the nation,” Mahon added.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Allen, Chief Operating Officer at Channel 4, commented during a Q&A following the presentation that the service is still in the early stages of development. “We don’t have a formal business plan ready to be signed off by the board, but it will be engaging with producers to make sure it also works for them,” he said. “Channel 4 being distributed globally could be good for our business but also exports of British IP and could help format sales. We think there’s a good opportunity to create a win-win situation,” Allen concluded.
We think that we have the opportunity to preserve what makes us British and distinctive whilst building our business even more outside the UK” Alex Mahon CEO of Channel 4