Channel 4 has signed a first-of-its-kind strategic partnership with YouTube, to underline its aims to become a digital-first broadcaster.
The move will make hundreds of hours of programmes available on YouTube in the UK/Eire and enable the broadcaster to sell its own advertising around the shows.
To drive further revenue through the platform, it is setting up a dedicated YouTube team within its commercial arm, 4Sales.
“Innovative strategic partnerships are Channel 4’s speciality, and this new relationship with YouTube is another which will ensure we continue to keep growing our reach with young audiences and build on our unrivalled digital success,” explained Alex Mahon, Chief Executive of Channel 4.
“Together with YouTube we have created a powerful consumer channel full of our brilliant Channel 4 content. This will engage even more viewers through the enhanced reach and digital scale of YouTube, combined with the dynamism of the Channel 4 brand.”
Earlier this month, Mahon outlined proposals for Channel 4 to become a Leeds-based digital first PSB, with a dramatic expansion of its digital content operation in the North.
“I’m proud to welcome Channel 4’s creative, thought-provoking long form content on to the YouTube platform,” said Ben McOwen Wilson, Managing Director YouTube, UK and Ireland.
“As an open platform, YouTube is where UK audiences of all ages and backgrounds come to watch what they want to watch, when they want to watch it. It is fantastic to drive innovative partnerships such as this, to enable leading broadcasters to contribute to the diversity of content on the platform of choice for young viewers.”
1000 hours of full Channel 4 and E4 episodes from new and popular series will be available to watch on Channel 4’s YouTube network by the end of this year, with content starting to roll out this month.
Selected programmes will be made available to watch on YouTube 30 days after first being broadcast on Channel 4 and E4, as part of a wider syndication strategy.