Online video investment is now paying off for Channel 4. The Future Media division turned in a Ã‚Â£3.2 million operating profit during 2009.ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s up from 2008, after what C4 says was Ã¢â‚¬Å“savings on platform costsÃ¢â‚¬Â, following heavy investment in video.
Channel 4 is merging all commissioning and creative activities to create one cross-platform content division, as part of a company restructure being led by new CEO David Abraham.
The Future Media team, which handles all commissioning and content production for Channel 4Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s digital and investment divisions, including 4iP, will now join their TV commissioning counterparts.
From Richard Davidson-Houston:
I adopted the ‘green field’ approach in a radical change to Channel 4’s Online Products and – though there is a management challenge due to the understandable indignation of people not relocated (physically or conceptually) to the ‘green field’ – there is no doubt that it works.
Jamie Arnold’s added some more colour to yesterday’s announcement that 4iP will be funding some applications built with the new London Datastore. And the announcement is that the other partner is… Facebook.
As Tom Loosemore said yesterday, while not trivial the development of applications and services is but the first part of the challenge. To be successful the products need to attract and retain a large audience. We feel that with the added support of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s biggest social network and a national broadcaster we should be able add significant value and expertise to ensure the public gets the most from this new opportunity.
Smart and interesting. 4iP needs some glue to bring its investments together, and that glue might simply be the people who use them (rather than a more corporate portfolio approach). So a hook-up with Facebook makes a lot of sense. And not just on this project, either.
It’s nice to finally talk about work in a formal role on here, so here we go:
We’re starting to roll out our new format programme pages, as part of an ambitious and exciting relaunch of the whole of channel4.com. Richard Davidson-Houston’s got the skinny here, and you can see new pages for Ugly Betty, Father Ted, Countdown and much more.
We’ve also launched Platform4, our first formal group blog about all things digital here at Channel 4. Read the intro post here, read Richard’s post about the channel4.com redesign here, and stay subscribed for the latest on the redesign and on other C4 online matters.
Lots more interesting stuff, conceptual and actual, to come along in 2009. Watch that space.