4Music flounders after strong start for TV channel

Viewing figures for 4Music, the music channel launched by Channel 4 and Bauer Media, have plummeted since its relaunch in the summer, despite a major marketing campaign.

The channel, which launched on Freeview on August 15, now has viewing figures below The Hits, the Freeview music station it replaced.

However, a C4 spokesman says it takes time for a “radically different” channel to bed down with viewers.

In the four weeks prior to its relaunch, from July 17 to August 18, the channel averaged a 0.38% share of all viewers and a 0.92% share of 16- to 34-year-olds, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Re-search Bureau (BARB).

But in the four weeks after the rebrand as 4Music, the channel averaged 0.25% of all viewers – a drop of 34% over the period – and its share of the 16- to 34-year-old market fell 35% to 0.6%.

Box TV, the C4 and Bauer Media joint venture, launched a major campaign across C4’s portfolio of channels, which was worth about £10m in media space.

The C4 spokesman says: “4Music has performed extremely well since launch, particularly with younger viewers. After a hugely successful opening weekend, it has frequently delivered a daily 16- to 34-year-old share of over 1% and attracts a more upmarket audience than its previous incarnation. It takes time for a channel with a radically different proposition and brand to establish itself.”

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