Channel 4 has unveiled a five-year strategy to reshape the organisation which will involve reducing its headcount by 18% and moving out of its Horseferry Road HQ.
Called Fast Forward, C4 said the strategy will accelerate its transformation into an “agile, genuinely digital-first public service streamer” by 2030.
C4 said it will reduce its operational costs in a bid to stay competitive and invest more in digital priorities. This will see the broadcaster make around 200 redundancies and close approximately 40 unfilled roles. Around 70% of roles closed will be out of legacy operations and will return the broadcaster’s headcount close to 2021 levels.
C4 said it will have 600 roles based outside of London by the end of 2025. With a lower headcount in London overall and against a background of the shift to flexible working, the broadcaster will move out of its current HQ in Horseferry Road and look for new office space in central London.
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It is also proposing to close small linear channels “that no longer deliver revenues or public value at scale” including the Box channels in 2024.
C4 said it will also accelerate its move to a digital-first commissioning strategy and will shift investment to the types of programming that drive streaming growth, like drama, high-end documentaries, comedy and reality, while targeting younger viewers on platforms including YouTube.
C4 is also proposing changes to how its commissioning team is organised, and said there will be a ‘ruthless focus on cut-through with fewer, stronger new titles that generate more scale and impact. ‘It also wants to double social views through 4Studio, its digital content and social studio, and increase the amount of content on YouTube.
C4 said it wants to transform its streaming platform “through outsourced technology that delivers a step-change in the user experience for viewers and advertisers.” C4 said it will also invest in growth businesses to diversify revenue streams.
Alex Mahon, C4 CEO, said: “Channel 4 was designed to be ahead of the curve and has never stood still. The rate of change in our market is only speeding up. Our new strategy will accelerate our digital transformation – building on 2020’s Future4 strategy and our founding public service principles – so Channel 4 remains a trusted, disruptive and distinctive brand into the 2030s, offering brilliant shows that people love and that matter.”