Demand 5 becomes My5 as part of a major Channel 5 rebrand
James R | On 13, Feb 2016
Demand 5 has relaunched as My5, as part of a major Channel 5 rebrand, with VOD exclusives including both The X-Files and an online prequel to Heroes: Reborn.
The UK broadcaster, which first premiered in the UK back in 1997 with The Spice Girls, has swapped hands and brands several times over the years, but following its acquisition by Viacom, the channel has seriously stepped up its game: last year saw a reboot of Big Brother, while the channel has introduced a host of new US shows to British audiences, such as Gotham and Under the Dome, alongside its roster of existing imports, including CSI, Law & Order and NCIS.
The latest of those acquisitions are the limited revivals of The X-Files for Channel 5 and Heroes: Reborn for 5STAR. Fox’s six-episode reunion of Mulder and Scully premiered in the UK on Monday 8th February to 3.35 million viewers (and a 15 per cent share of total TV viewing in the UK between 9pm and 10pm) – the highest figures for the channel since Celebrity Big Brother launched in January 2015. It was also the most-viewed launch on the channel for a US series since 2009.
Now, then, is the perfect time for Channel 5 to make the most of that spotlight and revamp itself as a contender to the country’s other public service broadcasters. Only recently, ITV rebranded its digital presence from ITV Player to ITV Hub, while Channel 4 has long since scrapped 4oD and concentrated its online content into All 4 – an upgrade that put Channel 4 shoulder-to-shoulder with BBC iPlayer.
Channel 5’s makeover is no less impressive: Demand 5’s interface was always clunky and not easy on the eye, but My5 (and the rest of the new Channel 5 site) places the emphasis on slick graphics and logos and simple menus.
The new-look VOD service is designed to highlight the diverse range of content available to viewers, with catch-up titles listed alongside collections such as “Quirky Romance” and “Box Sets”. There’s even a “Last Chance” collection to remind users what’s leaving soon. It’s also easier to search for programmes, as well as browse videos from all four of the broadcaster’s channels: Channel 5, 5USA, 5STAR and Spike.
The rebrand is live now on computers and mobile apps and will roll out in the coming weeks for set top boxes, consoles and other devices.
Channel 5 is wasting no time in giving its streaming arm a boost, though: as well as the new episodes of The X-Files being front and centre of the homepage, the site has also debuted a new prequel series to Heroes: Reborn, which starts on 5STAR on Tuesday 16th February at 9pm.
Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters is an online-only series that bridges the gap between the original show and its new incarnation and is available exclusively on My5 in the UK.
Introducing us to a range of new characters, including Phoebe Frady (Aislinn Paul) and her brother, Quentin (Henry Zebrowski), the series spans six episodes and a total of 42 minutes. You can watch those on My5 until 10th May 2016.