Channel 4 to “pioneer” the use of data

Channel 4 is looking to “pioneer” the use of data in its advertising model as it looks to invest in more direct connections with its audience.

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Speaking to the Oxford Media Convention, Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham said the broadcaster is “retooling” its self-funded commercial model so that it engages with viewers on a deeper level.

Channel 4’s sales house made £1bn in revenue in 2011 and in November made more than £100m in ad revenue, the first time it had ever exceeded the £100m mark in a single month.

Jonathan Allan joined Channel 4 from OMD in July as the broadcaster’s sales director and has since restructured the sales team into six agency-focused units.

Abraham continued that Channel 4 is also pledging nearly £450m of its network programming budget into original UK content this year, an £80m increase from 2010.

The increased investment in original programming means that Channel 4 is expected to report a full-year deficit in 2012.

Channel 4 is also looking to increase the amount of multi-screen programming it produces, such as The Bank Job, Million Pound Drop and Misfits, and will maximise the number of devices its content is distributed on.

Abraham added: “While the outlook for 2012 may be uncertain, I enter this year with a sense of confidence, excitement and optimism that Channel 4 is in the midst of one of the most inspiring and creatively stimulating periods in its history.”

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