U.K.'s Channel 4 to Launch Online Hub for Live, On-Demand Content

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Its CEO speaks of "the most advanced" response to changing viewer behavior

Britain's Channel 4 will next year launch a single online destination for all its content, whether live streaming or on-demand, CEO David Abraham said Thursday at IBC in Amsterdam.

The broadcaster's new online hub, dubbed "All 4," will "deliver the most advanced [response] to changing user behavior," he said, highlighting his desire to adjust the company's offerings to changing viewer behavior in the digital age, including the rising usage of tablets and smartphones.

"Broadcasters are at a disadvantage if they separate their online and linear channel brands," Abraham argued. "We think the future is about blending the two and using the strengths of both."

The goal is to "ensure that our content portfolio remains an important, valued part of viewers' TV consumption for decades to come," said the boss of Channel 4, which has also turned its attention to international co-productions amid changing industry dynamics.

All 4 will replace the broadcaster's 4OD on-demand service, which has an estimated 11 million registered users and launched in 2006. It will be available on PCs and some mobile devices and then be rolled out to additional platforms. It also will feature a personalized experience, according to Abraham.

All 4 will be divided into three areas: Now, which includes live streams and the most popular content; On Soon, which will offer recommendations for upcoming programming; and On Demand.

Channel 4, which has tripled its online revenue over the past five years, previously moved full-length shows from its YouTube channels to its Channel4.com site. The broadcaster airs such U.S. shows as Fargo, Homeland and Agents of SHIELD.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai