Channel 4’s online catch-up and on-demand service 4oD is to be replaced by All 4: a new platform that will seek to take advantage of the growing trend in viewing on devices such as tablets and smartphones.
The new service will allow users to catch up with programmes on demand, watch live TV and also see a guide to what’s coming up in the next few weeks. It will launch in the first quarter of next year, first on PCs and iOS devices, but will later feature on all other platforms that 4oD is currently available on, leading to the scrapping of the eight year old service.
The new All 4 website will be split into three main sections. The Now feature will allow viewers to watch a live stream of all Channel 4 services, including the main network, E4, More4 and Film4; a newly-overhauled on-demand section – the feature 4oD was known for – will host all of the broadcaster’s catch up TV content, as well as features such as cast interviews; and On Soon will showcase new programme clips and promos, and allow viewers to set reminders and alerts.
The move is said to be the next stage in the channel’s strategy to keep hold of its youth audience, who are drifting from traditional TV to digital.
Speaking of the plan, Channel 4 chief executive David Abraham, who will unveil All 4 in a keynote speech at the IBC conference in Amsterdam on Thursday, said: “We believe All 4 will deliver the most advanced broadcaster response to changing viewer behaviour in the digital age. It will help ensure that our content portfolio remains an important, valued part of viewers’ TV consumption for decades to come.”
All 4 comes months after Channel 4 stripped its full-length programmes from its YouTube channels to focus on attracting viewers to its own Channel 4.com site. It also coincides with the recent news that BARB, the industry body that measures television ratings, is to include viewings on tablets in its calculations for the first time ever.