Channel 5

Elevating the brand and content experience for a major broadcaster

Channel 5 is the 5th largest broadcaster in the UK, owning a diverse family of shows and branded networks. Their digital properties failed to provide customers easy access to their quality content, and their web experience was fragmented across two sites.

Partnering with Method initially to redesign their two web properties, we helped Channel 5 arrive at a strategy for a unified website and extend that across web, mobile, tablet, and set-top box. Working side-by-side with the development partner utilizing Agile methodology, we helped launch a brand new channel5.com in less than 6 months. Easier and more enjoyable to use, the new site encourages deeper video consumption while balancing advertising revenue requirements with the consumer experience.

Since launch, site video views have increased by over 40%, and Channel 5 has continued to enhance their digital offering through mobile, tablet, and set-top box experiences.

www.channel5.com

Challenge

Channel 5 originally had two websites for housing their content: one for on-demand video and one for TV program support. In maintaining two destinations, neither delivered a great content experience to visitors, and the method for monetization required a cumbersome process of installing pay-for software that didn’t deliver greater content value to customers.

As TV viewing experiences extend across an increasing number of platforms and devices, Channel 5 needed to think about how to present its on-demand content in a consistent and scalable manner.

Working with Method, Channel 5 identified the need for a unified look-and-feel across platforms, building on a redesigned core Channel 5 web service.

Approach

Method arrived at a strategy to merge the two sites into one property, channel5.com, placing video content at the heart of the Channel 5 digital experience. As many UK broadcasters maintained separate sites for program information and on-demand video, the first step was a strategic exercise to compare models and the consequences for the brands. This resulted in the single destination, channel5.com, with Demand 5 becoming the brand for on-demand video.

Through interviews with the key stakeholders, Method identified content requirements and commercial targets. We advised on content strategy with the editorial team to create the best front-end experience for viewers and developed a multi-tiered sponsorship strategy to maximize advertising revenue. Method designed each program or show page act as its own microsite with ability to customize branding in accordance with sponsorship. Advertising models for the homepage and microsites allow for targeting and variable levels of sponsorship, from standard banner units to full-page takeovers.

The site houses all of Channel 5’s vertical sub-brands, successfully binding them all together to provide access to Channel 5’s diverse entertainment offering while allowing viewers to dig into verticals of interest. In addition, social commentary feeds, related content, and associated content such as clips are now available to viewers.

Clips content is particularly useful for mobile and tablet viewers who are able to quickly catch up on highlights or view segments, and it also provides another vehicle for advertising content.

Working in an Agile approach, Method closely collaborated with Channel 5 and their development partner to ensure a successful launch of the site in less than six months. We extended the design system for the website to account for a wide variety of set-top boxes, from more advanced (PS3) to lower-grade versions, working directly with development teams to provide guidance on implementation. Method also extended designs for mobile and tablet applications.

Outcome

In a short time frame, Method helped Channel 5 identify and implement a strategic approach for delivering higher value to their customers. The result was a unified content destination for Channel 5 viewers that is easier and more enjoyable to use, encouraging deeper consumption. channel5.com launched in 2010, with the other platforms rolled out shortly afterwards.

During user testing, the response from participants was extremely positive, verifying that the high quality and accessible site has improved Channel 5’s overall brand perception and created a larger audience for their content.

The strategic decision to merge Channel 5’s two online properties into one has increased video views by over 40%, as well as improved the overall user experience.

Method has carried out a design overhaul for all of Channel Five’s digital platforms, including the channel’s user-interface design for You View—the free-to-air Internet-connected TV service which launches next year. A suite of interface designs and a visual language has also been created for implementation on Demand Five, the broadcaster’s online playback service, and as iPad and iPhone apps. Method’s Demand Five solution has now gone live and combines the function of both websites to offer more integrated video content.
Design Week