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C4 exploits link between TV and social media

Channel 4 has announced the forthcoming launch of a new spin-off broadcast channel, which will base its programming solely on the TV shows most widely talked about in the social media and other online chat and forum websites, during the previous seven days.

The new channel, to be called 4seven, is expected to go live on a number of digital TV platforms sometime later this year.

Commenting on the new launch, David Abraham, the chief executive of Channel 4 said the idea to focus on the latest online ‘buzz’ was inspired by viewers ‘increasingly saying they sometimes just miss the best stuff’.

Abraham added that in his view the concept:

‘combines the continued strengths of digital TV with the opportunities of social media’

and would hopefully be

‘an example of how the TV network will continue to adapt and evolve in order to survive in this most revolutionary of decades for media consumption’

As if to support Abraham’s thesis, a new survey has been released showing that 17% of the TV audience in the UK rely on social media to keep them updated with information on what is currently new on TV; a figure which rises to 39% among one of the main age-groups targeted by Channel 4: the 18 to 24 year-old audience.

The survey, carried out by research organisation, YouGov, found, in addition, that 10% of the UK TV audience simultaneously watch a TV programme whilst discussing it with others via social media sites such as Facebook.

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