Channel 5 grows linear share in 2023

Channel 5 grows linear share in 2023
All Creatures Great and Small (credit: Channel 5)

Channel 5 has grown its combined share of its linear channels — 5Star, 5USA, 5Select and 5Action — by 5% in 2023, according to Barb figures.

This represented its fifth year of share growth. In particular, All Creatures Great and Small attracted the channel’s largest audience of the year, with an average of 3.7m viewers and a 19% share.

Channel 5’s main channel was the only commercial public service broadcaster (PSB) to increase its audience share in peak time (7-11pm) year on year and also grew its share of ABC1 viewers in peak time by 4%.

Meanwhile, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 each experienced declines in total share of linear channels of 2-4%.

Channel 5’s on-demand service, My5, broke its record for viewing hours and watch time per user for the fourth year in a row. This was attributed to new and returning drama, as well as factual and documentary commissions.

Analysis: Bucking the trend

Evidently, there is still an important place for linear on advertisers’ media plans and for consumers.

The audience growth for Channel 5’s portfolio slightly bucks the trend as other broadcasters have experienced small declines in share.

Ian Daly, head of AV investment at the7stars, told The Media Leader that he wasn’t surprised by the figures, given Channel 5’s recent “trajectory”.

He added: “The channel has an excellent understanding of its audience as well as its competitors. It knows when to champion original vs licensed programming and when to deploy effective counter-scheduling (the Queen’s funeral is an extreme example). It manages to strike a balance between nimble UK broadcaster (C5) and global powerhouse (Paramount), in my view.”

In addition, all of the UK’s broadcasters are making significant investments in their digital platforms, from ITVX to the rebranded digital-first Channel 4 (as opposed to 4OD).

There are also strategic partnerships between Channel 4 and the likes of YouTube, tapping into audiences on social media.

Editor-in-chief Omar Oakes predicts this will be the year of linear and suggested banning the word “digital” in the context of media, emphasising that trust and quality will become more important.

No matter the platform, regulated PSBs are in prime position to reach an audience in need of expertise and creativity in 2024.

Get in line: why 2024 will be the year of linear

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