Channel 4 join the programmatic TV space

Recently,  Channel 4 became the first UK broadcaster to offer digital ad space programmatically using real time bidding, as they launched All 4 Private Marketplace. 

With Touchpoints 2020 suggesting that 80% of UK households now have BVOD access via their TV set, and a marked growth in all forms of VOD during 2020 and 2021 (All 4 reported streaming views were up 26% YoY in 2020, and 28% year to date), this represents a logical step for the industry into this space.  

Broadcasters have been exploring tech opportunities and looking for automation benefits for some time; ITV jumped first in late 2020, with the launch of their self-serve campaign planning platform, Planet V. This ring-fenced, self-serve planning, buying and tracking environment is a very different proposition to the RTB offering Channel 4 have now unveiled; for one thing Channel 4’s “tech-agnostic” approach gives agencies a great deal of flexibility in the trading of their inventory and will likely also have cost them considerably less to implement than the “50,000 hours” of dev time that ITV put into building Planet V. With very different examples available to them, It will be interesting to see how the remaining major players in the space react.  

Channel 4’s new solution will offer the ability to reach audiences of specific genres, demographics and devices to tailor campaigns to their 25 million registered viewers, meaning greater opportunity to reach the most suitable audience more effectively, reducing wastage. Other potential benefits of trading BVOD through one single trading desk alongside other VOD publishers will include greater control over campaign flight, including frequency, pacing, and delivering sequential messaging in the right order. 

Ultimately, when it comes to running programmatic activity, the aim is always to reach our target audiences in the most effective and impactful way. Having the ability to run programmatic activity across BVOD means that we can add this into our wider strategy and more seamlessly reach people across the web, mobile, online video and BVOD with a fully connected campaign. At Space & Time, our team are already working on integrating programmatic TV into our wider strategies and looking forward to more developments in this area.


We’d love to talk to you about how we could create a tailored solution using All 4 Private Marketplace for your brand, via our proprietary DSP.