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Channel 4 relaunches brand identity as “public service streamer”

Channel 4 has refreshed its brand identity with an emphasis on its digital and streaming platforms.

From Tuesday, Channel 4 has transitioned to become the “world’s first public service streamer,” the British television organization said in a statement.

The relaunch is intended to target younger viewers who are accustomed to watching video content across different devices and platforms, including phones, tablets, computers and streaming services.

The refresh will put a greater emphasis on “app-like” experiences across the Channel 4 brand, which will continue to include the flagship linear broadcast network and ancillary TV channels.

New features on Channel 4’s digital and streaming properties are designed to increase engagement with a growing segment of younger viewers, executives said in a statement. They cited internal research that showed nearly one million young people between the ages of 13 and 24 streamed Channel 4 content on a PC or laptop, an increase of 17 percent when compared to the prior year.

Young viewers between the ages of 16 and 34 years old are still the largest group of Channel 4 viewers across all platforms, representing 49 percent of the television network’s audience, the report said.

Those viewers can expect to find more high-quality television content like “The Gathering,” “Queenie,” “Untold: The Rise and Rise of Taylor Swift,” season two of “We Are Lady Parts,” “Dance Moms,” “The Great” and re-runs of overseas series like “The X Files” and “ER.”

“Channel 4 streamers can look forward to a content line-up that’s distinctive, entertaining and truly stands out, with our commission reflecting Britishness, purpose and irreverent attitude that speaks to young audiences,” said Kiran Nataraja, the Director of Streaming Content and Strategy at Channel 4.

“We’re also going to give audiences a more-seamless, connected and accessible viewing experience across all of Channel 4’s services and platforms,” Nataraja affirmed. “These enhancements support our plan to become the first public service streamer.”

Channel 4 was established in 1982 as Britain’s second publicly-owned television network. It was intended to serve as a competing outlet to the BBC by offering alternative programming that reached underserved audiences when compared to the BBC’s more-mainstream programming.

While the BBC is funded through a television tax imposed on households in the United Kingdom, Channel 4 is funded primarily through advertisements and the licensing of certain content to third party broadcasters outside the U.K. Last September, Channel 4 debuted its first free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels in the United States, bringing British reality-based series to Comcast’s Xumo Play and Fox’s Tubi while allowing it to unlock stateside advertisement revenue opportunities.

Channel 4 operates its main flagship television network on a free-to-air basis, making it freely accessible to those with a Freeview broadcast tuner, Freesat or a Freely TV. Its multiplex networks are also free to receive, including E4, More 4, Film 4, 4 Seven, 4 Music and The Box.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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