Channel 4 to offer audience targeted ads

Channel 4 is to enable advertisers to target specific demographics and audience profiles around its online content, following its long-form content deal with YouTube.

The broadcaster last week signed an ad revenue-share deal to put its catch-up and archive programming on the Google-owned video site.

The deal, which reportedly gives Channel 4 the larger share of revenue, will see it manage sales around its own content in addition to non-Channel 4 content.

To take advantage of the increased audience the YouTube deal brings, Channel 4 plans to unveil a new sales strategy to key media agencies next month, which will incorporate demographic and audience profiling.

The move will let advertisers target specific audiences – say, 16-30-year-old men – with ads appearing around specific content, such as Peep Show or Skins.

The strategy is part of Channel 4’s new Video Intelligence offering, which will launch next year.

Errol Baran, head of digital media advertising at Channel 4, said that the broadcaster will continue to sell a mix of pre-roll and mid-break advertising around genres such as comedy and entertainment but will extend this in the future.

“The key point is that advertisers will be buying around Channel 4 content whether it’s sitting on our platforms or somewhere else. This is about the platform becoming semi-neutral and allowing advertisers to follow content anywhere,” he said.

Baran added that the YouTube deal was a “massive step change” for Channel 4. The three-year revenue-sharing deal will see ad-funded content appear on a branded YouTube channel in the coming months.

Content from 4oD will be fully available on YouTube by early 2010. It’s the first time that a broadcaster has placed a comprehensive catch-up schedule on YouTube.

new media age revealed in May that YouTube was in talks with broadcasters and content owners including Channel 4 to stream long-form content in the UK.

This story first appeared on

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