Channel 4 flagship continuing drama is first UK soap to make the move on an ongoing basis, providing viewers with further opportunities to view as they choose.
From March 2022 Channel 4’s flagship continuing drama, Hollyoaks will become the first UK soap to premiere on a streaming service on an ongoing basis, with new episodes available on All 4 prior to broadcasts on Channel 4 and E4. New episodes will be available from the morning, allowing fans to have some soap-related drama with their cereal, or stream at their leisure throughout the day, followed by linear showings that evening on E4, and Channel 4 the following day.
The new scheduling is the latest move in line with the Future4 strategy outlined by Channel 4 Chief Executive, Alex Mahon last year, with scripted content to be primarily commissioned to debut on All 4 before linear broadcast.
Hollyoaks Executive Producer, Lucy Allan said: “We are excited to see Hollyoaks embrace the digital first proposition so favoured by its youth skewing audience, this feels progressive and full of opportunities for the show.”
The change comes off the back of a strong year for Hollyoaks on All 4. In 2021 Hollyoaks was the most streamed scripted series and second most streamed series overall on the streaming service. This year the hour-long explosive stunt episode first broadcast on 11 th January, is the most streamed Hollyoaks episode of the last 12 months for 0-7 day post TX views.
Channel 4 Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick said: “It feels like a natural step for Hollyoaks with its youthful outlook and audience to be the first UK soap to premiere new episodes on our streaming service on an ongoing basis.Our loyal audience want to get their soap fix when they want, where they want it and the series’ continued popularity on All 4 proves that with this new ‘stream-first’ approach we are serving a much broader range of viewers, from those who want to stream, to those whose tea time ritual is kicked off with Hollyoaks each evening.”
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4.