Media on Trial: 4seven

Zoe Adams, vision account executive at MPG Media Contacts, gives her views on Channel 4's catch-up TV channel 4seven, which launched two weeks ago.

Channel 4: 4seven catch-up channel launched two weeks ago
Channel 4: 4seven catch-up channel launched two weeks ago

Despite the plethora of channels available today, insight suggested that some viewers were still missing their favourite shows. So, earlier this month, Channel 4 launched 4seven, instantly recognisable, and in keeping with the Channel 4 brand.

4seven effectively bridges the gap between scheduled broadcast and personal video recorders (PVR), and it gives viewers another chance to watch some of its most-talked about shows from the past seven days – for example, 'Beauty And The Beast' and 'Thelma's Gypsy Girls'.

It is important to note that circa 45% of homes do not have a PVR, and 4seven makes Channel 4 programmes instantly more accessible, and on the 40-in screen in the corner of the living room, as opposed to the smaller tablet screen for example.

For those with PVRs, it means a show that wasn't originally recorded, but became widely talked about the next day, such as 'The Undateables', can be easily viewed.

Although the schedule could be more varied, let's not forget that this is essentially a catch–up service and it is packed with only the best of Channel 4's programming. The benefit to advertisers – and one of the reasons why we would now include this on MPG MC TV plans – is that it creates another opportunity to reach those elusive "light viewers" of TV.

Arguably, and on the basis that not all ratings are the same, the content broadcast on this channel is more valuable to advertisers, as viewers are more engaged with the content and the commercials.

Despite a relatively slow start, with averages audiences of 28,000 viewers daily, it is my view that the strength and value of the offering will quickly spread and the channel will steadily grow. 

We have already seen some examples of the channel performing well, such as 'Secrets of the Shoplifters', which peaked at 146,000 viewers and 'Thelma’s Gypsy Girls', which peaked at 118,000 individuals. Both represent a comparable viewing audience to some of the more established multi-channel stations.

What’s good?

Another opportunity to watch Channel 4's 'most talked' about content.

What could be better?

Where possible, extend talked-about programming into daytime schedule.

Would I book my clients into this?


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