12 JUL 2023

Channel 4 invested an all-time record £713 million in British content

Channel 4 released its 2022 annual report, revealing an all-time record £713 million invested in British content, including £570 million on originated content, working with 170 independent production companies.

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British free-to-air public broadcast television network Channel 4 released its 2022 annual report, revealing an all-time record £713 million invested in British content, including £570 million on originated content, working with 170 independent production companies.

Last year also set a new investment record for Channel 4’s spending in the Nations and Regions, with £228 million invested in content from production companies outside of London, and two-thirds of originated show hours coming from the Nations and Regions.

At the same time, last year Channel 4 achieved 1.4 billion total streaming views, just shy of the record 1.5 billion views achieved during lockdown in 2021. For context, 2021 had the advantage of increased home viewership due to people being required to stay at home in the first half of the year. In the second half of 2022, streaming views were 5% higher than the same period in 2021.

Financially speaking, in 2022 Channel 4 achieved total revenues of £1.14 billion, less than 2% below 2021’s record £1.16 billion. The second half of 2022 included a significantly more challenging consumer environment, which has continued into this year, the company noted.

Channel 4 made significant strides in its Future4 strategy as the broadcaster focused on diversification of its revenue base. In 2022, digital advertising brought in £255 million, accounting for 22% of revenues, a 14% increase over 2021, and staying on track to reach Channel 4’s Future4 target of 30% of revenues coming from digital advertising by 2025.

By the close of 2022, fully one-third of Channel 4’s total revenues no longer came from linear advertising. Non-advertising revenues, including film and partnerships revenue, reached £121 million, 11% of Channel 4’s total revenues in 2022, fully three years ahead of its 10% target. Combined with 22% of revenues from digital advertising, this means one-third of Channel 4’s income was not from linear advertising.

“Last year, as we emerged from the pandemic, Channel 4 faced unprecedented challenges: privatisation, political instability and macroeconomic turbulence continuing into this year. Channel 4’s exceptional team has steered the organization to the benefit of British viewers and the creative industries. Channel 4 is focused on being more digital as a broadcaster and more commercial as a business, transforming into a public service streamer. With a uniquely strong brand, Channel 4 is very well-positioned. However, we need government’s help to address prominence, so young audiences can continue to find safe and trusted British video that reflects their lives. There is no time to lose,”  commented Ian Cheshire, Chair of Channel 4.

Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4, added: “With Channel 4’s financial sustainability and ownership status no longer in question, we are doubling down on what we were created for: to deliver the best and broadest range of programmes that truly reflect British lives; to engage young people with genuinely public service content; and to prioritize digital growth to be where the audience is. As the industry sees through this cyclical advertising downturn, Channel 4 will be at the forefront, creatively more relevant, vibrant and distinctive than ever, especially for young audiences. We will continue to innovate, embrace change and adapt to the challenges of the future.”

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