Channel 4 tripled viewing of TV shows on YouTube and digital-first hits on Channel 4.0

Channel 4 delivered a three-fold year-on-year increase in UK viewing of full episodes of TV shows on YouTube in Q1, and its made-for-social network Channel 4.0.

22 MAY 2024

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The first of a new quarterly update on Channel 4 social performance, based on UK views in 2024, highlighted progress made against its Fast Forward strategy – which commits the channel to a doubling of all social views by 2030, including increasing the amount of content on YouTube. The growth builds on Channel 4’s social success in 2023, where across the whole year it was the largest UK commercial broadcaster on social media.

Noisy documentaries including “60 Days on The Estates” (1.9 million views in Q1) plus entertainment such as “Hollyoaks” drove a trebling of Channel 4’s YouTube full episode audience - while a new generation of social-first creators such as Nella Rose and Harry Pinero drove similar views growth to its made-for-social network Channel 4.0 in Q1.

Views of full episodes of Channel 4 programming on YouTube increased +200% year on year in Q1 (7.6 million to 23 million) and 333% year on year in April (2.2 million to 9.5 million). Full episode views of Channel 4 documentaries on YouTube including “The Push: Murder On The Cliff” (1.4 million views in Q1 across the episodes aired in the period) and “To Catch A Copper” (1.4 million views in Q1 across the episodes aired in the period) were among the most watched Channel 4 shows on YouTube. The most viewed full episode on YouTube was “The Kidnap Of Angel Lynn”, with more than 1.1 million views in Q1.

Channel 4.0 posted a trebling (+242%) of its UK views in Q1 to 25 million views and an increase of +332% to 11.5 million in April. Channel 4.0 launched on YouTube in 2022 and on TikTok and Instagram in 2023, focussing on fun and entertaining formats led by a new generation of content creators including Nella Rose, Adeola Patronne, Mariam Musa and Chloe Burrows subverting the prank genre through the hilarious Tapped Out and the ambitious, anarchic and unique Clone Heads fronted by Specs Gonzales. "Worst In Class", where Harry Pinero takes A-List digital talent back to school netted 5 million views in Q1 across series 1 and 2.

Overall, across all social platforms and all content types, Channel 4’s UK social audience increased by more than a tenth (+12%) in Q1 to 626 million views, and by 9% in April to 232 million views. Channel 4’s TikTok growth continues, up +90% year on year in Q1 to 143 million UK views, driven by content such as "Celeb Cooking School" with 1.7 million views and this clip from I Literally Just Told You with 1.8 million views.

Driving the social growth alongside Channel 4’s Commissioning, Marketing and Commercial teams is 4Studio, Channel 4’s in-house digital and social unit. Matt Risley, Managing Director, 4Studio, said: “Today’s announcement marks further progress on our Fast Forward strategy and keeps us on track for a planned doubling of social views. Our growth on social media is translating both into commercial success - with major rights distributors now entrusting us to represent social ad sales for their content – and for viewers it means even more ways to watch.”

Sacha Khari, head of digital commissioning, Channel 4, added: “The success of Channel 4.0 speaks to Channel 4’s remit to advance creative diversity. Our collaborations with creators and publishers is helping to elevate that sector on YouTube and beyond in terms of quality, legitimacy and potency.”

The new figures underline Channel 4’s multi-platform growth, building on the announcement last week that its streaming audience continues to grow (+15% in viewer minutes year on year in April), with Channel 4 streaming reaching more young streamers (16-34) than any other UK commercially funded broadcaster.