Channel 4 is expanding its on-demand service by giving people the option to download select shows and watch them offline on your smartphone or tablet.

Channel 4 4OD

4oD - or 4 on Demand - lets people in the UK stream catch-up TV broadcast on Channel 4 over the last 30 days, as well as an extensive back catalogue of content including films and US shows.

Previously you needed to have a Wi-Fi connection in order to watch anything on the service through your smartphone or tablet, but the new functionality will let you download certain content to watch offline for up to seven days after you have downloaded the programme.

The service is only available to smartphone and tablet users who have downloaded the 4oD app and registered with Channel 4 - which is free.

Initially only Channel 4-commissioned shows such as Undercover Boss, 24 Hours in A&E, Rude Tube and everyone's favourite Super Scrimpers will be available but Channel 4 has said it is hoping to add US studio content to the service "as and when possible." Available programmes are clearly marked with a download symbol within the app.


In order to download content you will need to be in the UK, as is the case with streaming it, but once downloaded you will be able to watch it wherever you want. Downloads are available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and on certain Android smartphones and tablets.

The devices which are officially supported are: Google Nexus S, Google Nexus 4, Google Nexus 7, Google Nexus 10, Nexus Galaxy, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

However Channel 4 said the 4oD app can be accessed on non-supported devices but as "testing effort isn't fully focussed on them, Channel 4 can't guarantee the app will work 100%."

The BBC, through its iPlayer app, already offers this download service but only on Apple devices, with the state broadcaster saying support for Android devices is in the works.

Unlike the BBC however, 4oD is ad-supported and the download service will be similarly financed. Channel 4 has announced a six-month partnership with Nissan to have the company's logo on the download page and to have the first pre-roll ad on all downloads.

As more and more people move away from watching 'live' TV, services like offline downloads will become increasingly popular on smartphones and tablets. Clearly Channel 4 is looking to cash in on this trend by monetising its offering.

Sarah Rose, Director of Commercial & Business Development said: "This is the latest development in our Viewer Engagement strategy to reward our now over 8 million and rising registered viewers with exclusive benefits to ensure they get the most out of their Channel 4 experience. Our fast growing database also enables us to deliver more innovative and engaging advertising solutions to our commercial partners including enhanced targeted ad packages - and our valuable young, engaged audience."