More the merrier as C4 targets the Irish market
Bookings have started coming in for Channel 4’s new Irish advertising opt-out service for More4, the channel it describes as “a space for open minds who want challenges and entertainment”.
Channel 4’s sales partner in Ireland, Medialink, has been talking to media-buying agencies about the opt-out since it was announced by Channel 4’s director of sales, Jonathan Allan, in October.
Due to begin on January 1st, the opt-out service means brands can tailor their campaigns to the channel’s Irish audience, which trends towards the 25-44 age bracket and skews female.
“More4 complements E4 – its audience is that bit older, but still very ABC1,” says Fiona McCann, sales director at Medialink.
Financial advertisers, upmarket retailers and cosmetics companies are a good fit with More4’s “intelligent” mix of drama, documentary, entertainment and lifestyle programming, McCann adds. “It’s the perfect environment for them.”
Medialink sells advertising for Channel 4’s partial Irish opt-out and the full out-opt for E4, which was introduced in 2002. “That was 10 years ago, so this is a big deal,” says McCann.
“All of us in the industry are feeling the pinch, but having new opportunities to bring to the market helps, as it gives us something to talk about and it gives agencies something to talk about with clients,” she says. “It’s something fresh and new and we’re not just standing still.”
More4 believes it can achieve an audience share in Ireland similar to that of Sky One, of more than 1 per cent. E4, which is aimed at 16-34 year-olds, has built on its share in recent months, says McCann.
There was some nervousness among advertisers when E4 decided to end repeats of the sitcom Friends in September 2011. However, new E4 imports such as Revenge, New Girl and 2 Broke Girls have performed well for the channel, while other hits include Big Bang Theory, Made in Chelsea and Misfits.
“There’s a really loyal audience of younger viewers there,” says McCann.
Channel 4 lifestyle presenters such as Kevin McCloud, Kirstie Allsopp, Sarah Beeny and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall also attract a regular audience on More4, alongside factual series specially commissioned for E4’s more refined cousin, such as Spice Trip.