Channel 4 develops raft of digital ad products

Channel 4 has announced a raft of digital product innovations for consumers and brands as it looks to engage “more deeply” with its audiences through content and advertising.

Mary Portas
Mary Portas’ Queen of the High Street series to return to Channel 4 in 2013.

From early 2013 advertisers will soon be able to use the data garnered from Channel 4’s 6 million registered online users to target audiences on catch up service 4oD based on interests and behavioural patterns rather than programming.

It is also introducing a new digital ad product, dubbed Adapt, which will enable advertisers to target registered online users based on their age, gender and location.

Channel 4 says the launch of Adapt followed increasing demand from advertisers to appear across its digital products, which it claims account for 10 per cent of its overall sales inventory delivery.

Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s sales director, says: “2013 will be another fantastic year of innovation for Channel 4 and I’m delighted that we will be kicking it off with such an exciting range of platform and product developments, as we continue to drive our viewer registration initiative and engage more deeply with our audiences through content and advertising.”

Next year Channel 4 will become the first commercial broadcaster to launch free ad-supported offline viewing, which will make programmes on 4oD available to download for viewers to watch content on their smartphones or tablets even when they are not connected to the internet.

Other upgrades to 4oD include the ability to pause a programme on one device and continue the programming where it left off on another. All Channel 4’s main channels will also be available to watch live on iOS and Android devices from early 2013.

Channel 4 hopes the innovations will help registered users to its online services feel rewarded and will use the additional data garnered from the anticipated increased usage to help inform future product and content strategy.

Elsewhere, at Channel 4’s 2013 Upfront event today (8 November), the broadcaster announced a number of new programme commissions for next year. These include The Mating Season – a series of programmes that will examine modern British relationships – a new comedy series of 30-minute pilots showcasing new comedy acts called 4Funnies, and the return of Mary Portas’ Mary Queen of the High Street series.

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