Hollyoaks Heads to YouTube


Channel 4’s long-running soap opera Hollyoaks is set to stream on YouTube globally.

This follows the successful launch of full episodes on YouTube in the U.K. last year, part of Channel 4’s stream-first model. Initially, 20 episodes will be available for global viewers to stream, after which the channel will have the same daily drop pattern as its U.K. channel.

Daily episodes will be available on YouTube one week after their debut on Channel 4 streaming platforms.

The continuing drama is produced by Lime Pictures, part of All3Media. Hollyoaks has been on air since October 1995 and has maintained its popularity over the years. It is reported that full-length episodes on YouTube in the U.K. and Ireland alone saw 5.8 million minutes of watch time in Q1 of 2024, with 67 percent of views coming from 13- to 34-year-olds.

The youth-skewing viewer demographic has also made the show’s social media views soar, with Snapchat increasing by 350 percent year-on-year and TikTok up by 116 percent.

Channel 4’s in-house social agency 4Studio has driven a three-fold year-on-year increase in U.K. viewing of full episodes of TV shows in Q1 and its made-for-social network Channel 4.0.

Hollyoaks is always synonymous with digital-firsts, and I am delighted that the show’s global audience will now be able to find and watch episodes when they want on YouTube,” said Kate Little, joint managing director of Lime Pictures. “With a proven track record of enticing younger viewers with gripping storytelling and engaging characters, this digitally-led offering of episodes will allow new and existing audiences worldwide to get their Hollyoaks fix with ease.”

Matt Risley, managing director of 4Studio, added, “We’re hugely excited to see Hollyoaks’ continual growth on YouTube, and this innovative move toward global distribution will only supercharge it further. YouTube is a core viewing platform for young viewers in the U.K. and abroad, so there’s no better place for us to be reaching new audiences with the best soap on TV.”