All 4, Channel 4’s new digital service, will launch on Monday 30th March.
The replacement for 4oD is part of the broadcaster’s major new digital re-brand, which was first announced last year. The new site will unite all of Channel 4’s content, from linear broadcast to catch-up, into one single destination. The interface is divided into three sections: On Demand, for catching up on past programmes and archive video; Now, which will integrate live broadcasts with other in-the-moment content, such as interactive pieces and social media conversations; and On Soon, which will showcase previews of upcoming shows and allow viewers to set reminders and alerts.
Channel 4 will place an increasing emphasis on its online preview section by premiering a selection of shows before their linear TV debut, including the new season of Made in Chelsea. O2 will also be an exclusive brand partner of the service, which will give O2 Priority customers access to 10 of Channel 4’s series 48 hours early. (Read more about that here.)
Archive content will include US series Nashville and, for the first time, The Inbetweeners Movie.
The move is a big step, but a natural one for the broadcaster, which has repeatedly positioned itself as a leading force in VOD: much like the BBC iPlayer’s ongoing commissions, Channel 4 is active in the production of original online content. The All 4 launch will see a brand new line up of shorts, including Rich Kids Go Shopping, Total Recast (in which director Simon Birch remakes classic movies in his own style) and Drones in Forbidden Zones.
“All 4 builds on a heritage of pioneering digital innovation at Channel 4,” says Keith Underwood, Director of Strategy and Technology. “Back in 2006, Channel 4 became the first broadcaster in the world to offer long-form TV content on-demand with the launch of our 4oD service.”
Channel 4 has enjoyed huge success with 4oD: over 11 million viewers are already registered with 4oD, including a staggering 50 per cent of all UK viewers aged between 16 and 34. Channel 4 will continue to build on that by requiring all viewers to register (for free) to watch any long-form content on the site.
This will enable the site to offer a “personal viewing experience”, as well as build the foundation for “an exclusive viewer rewards hub”, says Channel 4 in a press release. With its recent introduction of a new programmatic advertising system, the big data approach also means that the broadcaster will be able to offer targeted adverts, alongside its Netflix-style recommendations of upcoming programmes. To combat any concerns over data usage, Channel 4 has also introduced a Viewer Promise (fronted by Alan Carr) to pledge “absolutely transparency” with viewers about its use of data.
“This launch is the first release in a major transformation programme which will serve to consolidate our digital services and transform our relationship with viewers,” adds Underwood.
The site will be live from Monday on PC, iPads and iPhonse, with mobile live streaming also available.
“#All4 will launch initially on web and iOS,” tweets @VODProfessional. “Rollout to Android and other platforms later in the year.”