Over 4,000 hours of back catalogue programmes!
If you thought Channel 4 putting 4oD online as well as offering a download client was neat, then you’re going to love this. As of July, Channel 4’s entire (well, almost) archived programme catalogue will be available via the catch-up service, free of charge – about 4,000 hours of some 10,000 programmes.
That beats the BBC’s proposed plans to do the same by, well, we can’t be sure as the BBC has no firm date planned for sorting out its archive, so for now score one to Channel 4.
A few programmes won’t be available online, thanks to rights and/or legal issues; notably Friends (boo hoo) in addition to other US programmes and Channel 4 News. It’s a significant step and while it will be interesting to see how Channel 4 monetises the large archive of content it will be putting online, other than adorning it with advertising as it does already.
From a consumer perspective, however, it matter not a damn whether Channel 4 makes a lot, or no, money from making its archived content available. All I care about is the prospect of catching up on Peep Show over my lunch breaks.