You’d think it could hardly turn its nose up at advertising of any kind at the moment – but the imminent Channel4.com relaunch will see its homepage become an ad-free zone. The upcoming new site – which will have a web page for every Channel 4 programme, more interactivity and predictive search – will consider targeted ads elsewhere, however. New media sales head Errol Baran tells MediaWeek: “It was a big decision, not putting ads on the homepage, but we feel we wanted to leverage our products even more and not over commercialise the property We are also looking at a registration system for Channel 4.com so we can offer targeted ads; clients want this type of clarification.”
Faced with a £100 million shortfall over the next two years thanks to a fall in TV ad income and uncertainties over public funding, C4 has already abandoned plans for a network of digital radio stations and closed its in-house digital sales arm 4DS and closed its interactive red-button sales division.
In VOD terms, the new Channel4.com will focus on seven-day catchup while long-tail C4 shows will go to Kangaroo. It’s rather speculative, but MW also suggests ITV.com and Channel4.com ads will be sold alongside Kangaroo’s own inventory. Quoting sources who have seen presentations from the Kangaroo team recently, MW says programmes shown on Kangaroo will have four 30-second ads during each 30-minute programme.