Goodbye, All4: Channel 4’s Streaming App Is Changing

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The big revamp of Channel 4’s catch-up and streaming service, All4, is now underway – and the app’s new name and branding are being gradually rolled out across multiple devices.

As we reported last year, Channel 4 decided to change the name of its long-running streaming service, All4, to… “Channel 4”. 

Later on, the channel’s other properties – such as E4 and More4 – will also get new branding under the global ‘Channel 4’ brand.

This week, users across the UK started seeing All4 transform into Channel 4, but only on some platforms, for now. As of this writing, for example, All4 is now Channel 4 on Android and iOS smartphones, but not on Amazon’s Fire TV or on Sky Glass / Stream.

Channel 4 new app name

And while there are even paid Google Ads that say “All 4 Is Now Channel 4”, pointing to the website – the website still refers to itself as All4 (as of this writing), along with its paid subscription service that’s still called All4+.

Over the coming days and weeks, however, every All4 version, on every platform, is expected to transform into Channel 4. 

This means that the linear version of Channel 4, which people watch on Freeview, Freesat and the pay-TV platforms, will have the same name as the channel’s streaming app – a first for a UK broadcaster – as “audiences increasingly no longer distinguish between digital and linear content”, according to Channel 4.

However, some users on social media are already confused by the new name, as they’re now expected to differentiate between the linear Channel 4 channel – and the Channel 4 streaming app.

Other broadcasters’ streaming services in the UK all have their unique names and identities – BBC has iPlayer, Channel 5 has My5, and ITV has the new ITVX.

Channel 4 – One App, Many Names

“Channel 4 Online” started as the Channel Four Television Corporation’s first online platform, offering British viewers an extra layer of media experience, which was meant to complement the channel’s linear version.

Channel 4 company logo
Photo: Deposit Photos / TKKurikawa

Users in those early days were able to stream TV shows along with ‘bonus’ behind-the-scenes footage and other exclusive materials, using advanced technologies (at the time) such as Adobe Flash Player (remember that?).

The platform underwent a significant change in 2006, evolving from Channel 4 Online to 4oD (4 on Demand), a name remembered fondly by many.

4oD was envisioned as a comprehensive video-on-demand platform, enabling users to access a vast majority of Channel 4’s content for free. Like the channel itself, the streaming platform was funded by advertising, allowing viewers to enjoy most of the content without having to pay more.

New content and extensive archives were made available for streaming, attracting a growing audience in both the UK and Ireland.

Then, in 2015, 4oD changed its name again – this time to All4. An optional paid subscription was also added eventually, All4+, which allows users to stream the app’s content without adverts.

All4 Screenshot

All4, which includes both catch-up content and full box-sets from Channel 4’s archives, is available on most of the leading streaming devices sold in the UK, such as Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, Freeview Play and more.

Sadly, the All4 / Channel 4 app is STILL not available on Freesat’s connected boxes, having left them back in 2018.

All4 – Now Channel 4

This week, the streaming app has come back a full circle – with the rollout of its new name, Channel 4.

As this is a gradual rollout, apps on some devices are still showing the “All4” name, while others have already changed to Channel 4 – but everything will eventually transform into Channel 4.

Channel 4 app on Apple ios app store
Channel 4 app on iOS

In addition to changing the name of All4, Channel 4’s entire portfolio of channels will also align with the ‘Channel 4’ brand once the process is over.

New idents have already been commissioned as part of the brand transformation.

Working in collaboration with a number of British artists and filmmakers, Channel 4’s award-winning 4creative will “seek to represent the UK, its culture and its mentality to present an unexpected and daring portrait of Britain retold”.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 viewers on social media are already somewhat confused by the new branding.

One of the primary concerns seems to be that the streaming app includes content from Channel 4 as well as from other channels and platforms that belong to Channel 4, such as E4 and More4 – but the new name focuses on… Channel 4 (yes, even writing this sentence is confusing).

Time will tell whether viewers will get used to the new name (as is usually the case) – and how many will continue to call the app All4 – or, even, just stick with 4oD…

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13 thoughts on “Goodbye, All4: Channel 4’s Streaming App Is Changing”

  1. Bit of a daft & confusing rebrand! What was wrong with the various ‘4’ channels coming under the one aptly named umbrella – All4?
    If they wanted to make it sexier because of ITVX (perhaps ‘All’ is a bit insipid) they could have called it The All4 Super Stream or something.
    All the 4s do afterall carry a lot of rich content.
    These potty corp moves are usually symbolic of too many chiefs & not enough imagination. Directors eyeing future cost consolidation, brand reinvigoration & justifying their existence – without actually having a bright idea between them lol.

    • I have a Nvidia shield and all4 I could get working with a few work arounds oddly enough and it was mostly it’s orientation that I had changed to a forced rotation and it was fully usable.

  2. Weirdly, the name has updated in the tvOS app store, but the actual app hasn’t and its still called ALL4 on the Apple TV home screen where my apps are.
    Seems to be BBC-levels of slow in this rollout.

    There was a report from another site that claimed E4 was retaining its branding.

  3. Please give up to date information on the Manhattan TR3. With regards to ITVX and it carrying the new channel. I have been waiting for the information for a while now but just recently you seem to have stopped giving updates.


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