Hollyoaks, the U.K.’s first streaming-led soap, plans to make episodes available to stream the day before they are broadcast on E4.
For the first time, new episodes are also to be available on YouTube the week after they stream and broadcast on E4. The move underscores Channel 4’s digital approach focused on meeting young demographics’ changing viewer behaviors. The new schedule pattern is set to launch on September 25.
In 2023, 64 percent of viewers watched the soap via streaming or E4, resulting in 556 million minutes of the show being streamed in the first half of the year.
Channel 4 has been catering to younger audiences by releasing young-skewing shows alongside Hollyoaks, such as the U.K. and Australian adaptations of Married at First Sight.
Ian Katz, Channel 4’s chief content officer, said: “Hollyoaks has always been the youngest and most innovative soap, so it’s fitting that it should be the first to embrace the changes in the behavior of younger viewers and switch to a genuinely digital-led release pattern. It was the first U.K. soap to move to a stream-first model last year, and this is the next phase of that evolution. We hope making Hollyoaks available on YouTube, as well as our own platforms, will introduce a whole new generation to the show.”