Today at the Channel 4 Upfronts event at London’s Roundhouse, Chief Commercial Officer, Jonathan Allan announced to 1,200 members of the advertising community the development of a new first in broadcaster VOD advertising.

Codenamed “Project Agora”, this Channel 4-developed technology will enable advertisers to match their own custom audience segments across Channel 4 platforms in a cookie-less, GDPR compliant way for the first time. Channel 4’s 20 million active registered viewer base offers a segmentation opportunity unrivalled in the broadcaster VOD market.

This data innovation, due to launch in the autumn, signals a new level of targeting capability on All 4, part of the ongoing strategy to accelerate digital across all areas of the company as outlined by CEO Alex Mahon in 2018. Over 70% of Channel 4’s All 4 revenue is currently generated through advertisers buying against first party registered viewer data. This new product will allow advertisers to leverage their own data capabilities to create their own bespoke, custom audience segments that can be targeted on All 4. It will ensure clients can increase the scale and cost-effectiveness of their efforts to reach young audiences.

Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital and Partnership Innovation at Channel 4, who is leading the product development said: “I am really excited about taking this product to market later in the year. Coming off the back of the launch of Dynamic TV earlier this year – which enables potentially thousands of variations of data-driven creative to be served across big screen devices like smart TVs – there really isn’t a better time for advertisers to create personalised and targeted ad campaigns with Channel 4.

“Not many publishers have the volume of registered data that we do and that means we can offer this data matching proposition to our clients. We believe this will put us another step ahead of our competition and equal the offering that you can get from the pureplay digital platforms – but within a much safer and compliant environment.

This new development comes after a strong year for 4Sales, winning Marketing Week’s Campaign of the Year 2018 for the #togetheragainsthate anti-online bullying ad break, creating many popular ad-funded programmes including Ant Middleton’s Extreme Everest with Berocca and awarding the £1 million Diversity in Advertising award to the RAF for challenging gender stereotypes.


Kauser Kanji has been working in online video for 19 years, formerly at Virgin Media, ITN and NBC Universal, and founded VOD Professional in 2011. He has since completed major OTT projects for, amongst others, A+E Networks, the BBC, BBC Studios, Channel 4, DR (Denmark), Liberty Global, Netflix, Sony Pictures, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and UKTV. He now writes industry analyses, hosts an online debate show, OTT Question Time, as well as its in-person sister event, OTT Question Time Live

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