Numiko has been working with Channel 4 since 2011 to deliver the very best digital accompaniment to their innovative broadcasting. We’ve since delivered no less than 30 projects together (and counting!). Never intimated by a challenge, our commitment, responsiveness and reliability in the face of tight broadcast deadlines has helped us build a rock-solid relationship which they turn to again and again.
Our favourite thing about working with Channel 4? Each project has a unique twist or challenge we can sink our teeth into. Here's a just at glimpse of some of our favourites:
Channel 4 Corporate
Currently, we’re in the process of transforming their existing corporate pages so that viewers, press, producers and production companies can find out exactly who Channel 4 are, what they do and their ethos. This project encompasses everything from pre-production, discovery, design and build and is closely intertwined with the need to move content from an exhausted CMS to an open-source solution that will enable Channel 4 content managers to take control of how the channel is represented. Watch this space…
In 2015, Channel 4 announced their exclusive partnership with O2 and their customers as part of the O2 Priority offering. We were tasked with building a platform which allows O2 customers and Channel 4 super-fans to log in and gain exclusive access to their favourite shows up to 48 hours before everyone else!
We chose specifically the PHP web application framework Symfony to aid our design because unlike other applications, Symfony gives the designer full control over a site’s configuration. This allowed us to customize almost everything within Thanks4 and make it distinct from other similar reward sites. Thanks4 marks another step in Channel 4’s quest to enrich the experience of their viewers and they will continue to reward their supporters via Thanks4 in the upcoming future.
Foxes Live & Easter Eggs Live
Foxes Live: Wild in the City was a truly multiplatform project for Channel 4 and Windfall Films. It aimed to uncover the secret life of urban foxes as well as what the public really thought of them. Numiko was tasked to bring this innovative natural history event to life online. It saw user generated content contributing to the UK’s first ever urban fox census. Site traffic during the live shows peaked at 1000+ page requests per second as the country went mad for Chico the fox.
But mixing live telly and animals together once wasn’t enough for us. The following year we re-formed our partnership with Windfall to work on Easter Eggs Live, this time throwing the additional jeopardy of ‘will-it-won‘t it-hatch’ into the mix of 24 live streams. This project made scientific and broadcast history as viewers were given unprecedented access to the phenomenon of new life as it hatched. We developed the innovative online platform to support the two live broadcasts over Easter weekend; featuring round-the-clock live streams of incubation, hatching and, eventually, baby animals – all in real time.
The Digital Rig
With the Born Risky dogma at the heart of its programming, C4 was the perfect channel to take on ground-breaking new technology developed by Numiko for Raw, makers of The Secret Life of Students. For this show, we created a new piece of technology called the Digital Rig (D-Rig) which allowed programme contributors to share their digital communications with the production team. This data was then used to inform what observational documentary teams filmed on the ground.
The Secret Life of Students followed 12 Freshers in their first year at University, with contributors’ iPhones rigged to record their activity over 13 hours a day, seven days a week for four months (with consent, of course). Our D-Rig sent their data – including calls, texts, Facebook posts, photographs and internet search history – back to a secure central server in near real time. This data was then used in the edit, with graphics integrating texts; Google searches etc. directly into the documentary footage.
The ground-breaking nature of the D-Rig meant that we simply didn’t know how the data we harvested would be used until cast members got their live handsets, but we were reactive to the needs of the production and managed all of this in such a way as to ensure that connectivity was never lost.