Viewing figures for S4C hit five-year peak
The number of weekly viewers watching S4C in Wales is up 8% on last year, the highest figures reported by the Welsh language broadcaster in the last five years.
S4C’s Annual Report for 2022-23 also notes a jump in the numbers watching the channel aged 16-44, which is at the highest level for the last ten years.
Investment to transform viewing platforms led to 10% growth in viewing on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer, while the number of hours watched on YouTube almost doubled within a year.
The latest figures confirm S4C is bucking the broadcasting trend of an ageing audience and decline in traditional linear TV viewing.
S4C’s success in attracting younger viewers to programmes such as Gogglebocs Cymru, Pen Petrol and Wales international football games has driven down the average age of viewers over the past five years.
It has also led to an increase in linear TV viewing.
Following the launch of S4C’s new commercial strategy last year, drama series Dal y Mellt was sold to Netflix, and S4C’s first drama co-production with Channel 4, Y Golau was sold internationally.
While the first year of S4C’s new strategy led to growth, the annual report stresses that the broadcasting landscape remains a challenging one that is changing rapidly.
Rhodri Williams, Chair of S4C’s Unitary Board said: “During last year we saw significant progress in the transformation of S4C from being a linear only TV channel to a creative, multi-platform content publisher.
“The availability of our content on a variety of digital platforms has meant that more people are watching, especially younger viewers.
“Availability and prominence go hand in hand, and that’s more important than ever to ensure audiences can enjoy the wealth of engaging content available for them in the Welsh language.
“We welcome the decision by the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport to provide additional funding to S4C from April 2022, and the proposed plans to legislate to ensure prominence for public service broadcasters and we look forward to the legislation coming into force.”
Sian Doyle, Chief Executive of S4C, added: “I’m pleased that our content has led to growth on all our platforms, our strong performance among younger viewers and our success in selling programmes internationally.
“This growth is testament to the enthusiasm and effort of S4C staff and our partners in the sector here in Wales.
“It is also great to see the continuation of the growth in our 2022-23 figures for the first quarter of this year as well.
“S4C is proud to promote the Welsh language, to encourage people to learn and to raise people’s confidence to use Welsh.
“Our intention is to reflect Wales as a whole – the wide range of people and stories that exist across our country.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.