Online advertising now accounts for over a fifth of revenue for Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. It had 1.4 billion online views in 2022, with online advertising generating 22% of revenue. Two-thirds of total revenue still comes from traditional television advertising for the broadcaster that is now in its forties but feeling fresher than ever.

In 2022, Channel 4 had 1.4 billion online video views, slightly down on the 1.5 billion during 2021, when the pandemic obliged many people to stay at home in the first half of the year. In the second half of 2022, online video views were 5% higher than in the second half of 2021.

That is still a long way short of the BBC iPlayer, which had 7.3 billion online video requests in the year 2022-2023, up 11% on the previous year.

Channel 4 had 45.9 billion minutes of online viewing over the year. It sounds more than saying over three quarters of a billion hours. It works out at about half an hour per view.

Channel 4 has the youngest profile among broadcaster online video services in the United Kingdom, with 85% of those aged 16-34 having an account, making up one third of its user base.

The All 4 brand has been dropped for its online service, which is now promoted simply with the 4 logo.

Channel 4.0 was also launched as an online brand aimed at young people. It has had 42 million views since its launch in October 2022, with 75% from those aged 13-24. Channel 4 has also made strategic partnerships with YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok. Its 4Studio operation generated eight billion views across the main social platforms.

Reporting annual results, Channel 4 had £1.14 billion in revenues in 2022, exceeding a billion for the second consecutive year, down slightly from £1.16 billion the previous year. Online revenues increased 14% year on year to £255 million, up from £224 million, accounting for 22% of total revenues, up from 19% the previous year. The target is to reach 30% by 2025 as part of its Future4 strategy.

The corporation spent a record £713 million on content in 2022, including £570 million on original programming. After exceptional items, it made a pre-tax surplus of just £3 million, compared with £101 million the previous year.

Channel 4 recently refreshed its brand and looks younger than its forty years, with a clear social purpose. It successfully lobbied against being privatised and will remain in public ownership as a commercial public service media provider. It is now challenged with demonstrating that it has a sustainable future. Developing online revenue is clearly a part of that, although its broadcast business still makes most of the money.