Channel 4 makes Commercial Growth Fund investment in digital newsstand provider Readly
Channel 4 has made its fourth deal from its Commercial Growth Fund, striking an airtime-for-equity arrangement with digital magazine newsstand, Readly. As part of the new seven-figure partnership, Readly will be able to launch its first ever television advertising campaign in return for the broadcaster taking a minority equity stake in the all-you-can-read digital newsstand provider.
The major new TV advertising campaign for Readly will launch today (20th June) across Channel 4’s linear channel network. Designed and created by The Gate, the core creative showcases the key features of the all-you-can read Readly service: over 1,500 magazines including the UK's best-selling publications plus a wide range of international titles, delivered as digital editions to multiple devices, on or offline, with unlimited usage for a £7.99 per month subscription.
Channel 4’s Commercial Growth Fund, launched last year, offers high growth potential brands not currently advertising on TV at scale, the opportunity to accelerate their growth through TV promotion. The fund has already made partnerships with digital music service Deezer, premium drinks mixer Fever-Tree and the recruitment app Jobandtalent.
Vinay Solanki, Head of Fund, said: “We are impressed by Readly’s strong value proposition to consumers and the company’s entrepreneurial ambition. We believe their innovative business model will benefit from TV advertising exposure across our network enabling them to access our core young upmarket audience, to help this business grow their foothold in the UK digital subscription market.”
The Channel 4 deal comes hot on the heels of a promotional tie-up between Readly and Vodafone where the mobile phone operator is offering the all-you-can-read magazine service to core segments of its customer base.
Ranj Begley, Managing Director, Readly UK, said: “We are at a really exciting stage in our growth plan. Now with Channel 4 as a partner, we have a mainstream TV presence and the opportunity to scale up our audience much more rapidly than we had originally forecast. Channel 4 is also providing really valuable creative input which allows us to take a new look at the way we market our service to the end consumer.”
Over the last six years Channel 4 has invested in commercial innovation, including the launch of its Indie Growth Fund in 2013 – which has now made 10 investments in growing small and medium independent producers and digital companies; the Commercial Growth Fund; and its award-winning data strategy which has now amassed over 13.5 million registered viewers including over half of all of the UK’s 16-34 year olds, and has helped deliver new targeted advertising solutions. Channel 4’s recent 2015 annual report and results showed that digital revenues had risen by +30% last year with overall corporation revenues rising to a record £979m.
For further information:
Managing Director (UK)
Group PR Manager, Corporate & Commercial
Tel: 020 7306 8165
About the CHANNEL 4 COMMERCIAL GROWTH FUND
Channel 4’s Commercial Growth Fund offers companies with high growth potential, not investing at scale in advertising on television, the opportunity to build their business through advertising on Channel 4 marketing platforms – by exchanging equity stakes or striking revenue share arrangements. Launched in June 2015, the Fund reflects Channel 4’s own unique commercially funded, not-for-profit business model and aims to stimulate TV advertising spend from brands which are new to TV.
Readly is a digital service which lets customers have unlimited, “all-you-can-read” access to hundreds of national and international magazines in one app for just £7.99 per month – both streamed and downloaded. Ultra-fast, easy-to-use and convenient – each subscriber can access the inventory on up to 5 devices across the major operating systems – the service has an increasing range of functions, including advanced zoom, bookmark, search and sharing tools. In addition to all the consumer benefits, Ready offers a powerful, risk-free route to market for publishers who can also track how their content is being consumed.
The Readly operation was launched in Sweden in March 2013, but now has offices in the UK, USA and Germany and a rapidly growing user base in more than 50 countries, making it the world’s leading digital platform for reading magazines online. Readly UK started operation in the Spring of 2014 and now deals with 70 UK publishers, promoting 540UK magazine brands.