Wednesday 20 November 2019

Netflix and YouTube have deep pockets, Channel 4 boss says

Channel 4 unveiled its annual report, which includes a plan to attract more younger viewers.

Alex Mahon said both platforms have ‘deep pockets’ (John Stillwell/PA)
Alex Mahon said both platforms have ‘deep pockets’ (John Stillwell/PA)

By Kerri-Ann Roper, Press Association Entertainment Editor

Broadcasters in the UK and elsewhere should be “concerned about Netflix and YouTube”, Channel 4’s chief executive has said.

Speaking as the broadcaster unveiled its annual report, Alex Mahon said both platforms have “deep pockets”.

Ms Mahon said: “But that’s why our strategy is about the particular focus we bring to the UK, what we bring for viewers, so it’s about distinctiveness, it’s about how our brand resonates, it’s about our editorial curation, it’s about that connection to young people…”

She added that “they’re very different brands, in terms of what you get from a Netflix, versus what you get from a Channel 4 brand”.

Great British Bake Off stars Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig (Channel 4)

As part of its annual report, Channel 4 also laid out its plans to “increase its impact” with a younger demographic.

Asked how it intends to attract younger viewers from streaming services such as Netflix, Ms Mahon said: “What you see with young people is when you have really good content, they come to it.

“What people are doing on all of the other platforms is watching high quality, long-form content, so when we have something like The End Of The F****** World or the other new shows we’ve talked about, young people come and watch them… it’s about having that calibre of content that connects with them”.

The broadcaster also announced it has partnered with Vice to make long-form content available on All 4, the channel’s on-demand service.

Channel 4 aired its first series of The Great British Bake Off last year and said it was an “unparalleled success”, notably among a younger viewing demographic.

The popular baking programme was “the most watched series of the year across all of British television amongst 16-34-year-olds, for both volume of viewers and primetime share”, the annual report said.

PA Media

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