Channel 4 is upgrading 4oD to add live TV streaming and free offline viewing on mobiles, and the ability to pause on one device and resume on another.
The UK broadcaster will launch a free offline viewing option, so users can download a show to a smartphone or tablet while they’re on a Wi-Fi network and watch it later anywhere, without needing to hunt for a wireless hotspot or eat into their data allowance. The offline service will be free, supported by ads.
Channel says it 4 will be adding a “Watch Live” feature for iOS and Android mobile devices, so that any of the broadcaster’s main channels can be streamed directly to your screen, providing you are still somewhere in the UK.
Finally, 4oD is to support a “Pause and Play” facility, which means that viewers can pause playback on one device and pick up watching on another from the same point in the programme.
Channel 4 reports that it now has more than six million registered 4oD users, with more than 10,000 joining each day. It also states that one in three UK 16-34 year-olds are registered with its platform.
4oD is available online at Channel4.com as well as through its YouTube channel, Virgin Media, BT Vision, iOS devices, the PS3 and Xbox. The on-demand service has also been rolled out to the YouView internet-connected set-top box. It will soon be available on Sky 43, Android mobiles, Samsung Connected TV and the latest generation of Freesat recorders.
Channel 4’s Commercial and Business Development Director, Sarah Rose said: “We’re very excited to be the first commercial public service broadcaster in the UK to offer mobile offline viewing, enabling our viewers to catch up with Channel 4 wherever they may be. And the introduction of ‘Watch Live’ on the move and cross-platform ‘Pause and Play’ is great news for our young-skewing audience who are increasingly watching our content on multiple mobile devices.”