C4 Develops Digital Indie Talent Pool

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Channel 4 unveiled interesting stats this week on the impact of digital within the TV business. The channel's Content and Commissioning team has worked with 130 new creative digital companies in 2011, an increase of 28% on 2010.

From factual to education to entertainment, C4 says it has worked with more companies than ever on multiplatform activity: “Social website developer Mint Digital and technical producer Lingobee (new to C4) developed the online visualisation of a sex survey for The Sex Education Show; social website company Monterosa worked on the multiplatform activity for New Look Style the Nation on T4; and Big Robot scored their first project to create an online game for Channel 4 Education, Fallen City.
In addition, says C4, digital commissions from companies new to Channel 4 included “Mobile Pie creating a mobile game for Misfits and an app for Made in Chelsea, both big returning series for E4; and Maverick and Mudlark partnering C4 to create multiplatform activity for new series Food Hospital.
C4's multiplatform activity has also continued to expand across the regions in 2011 – with 54 digital companies based outside London (33 last year). “This includes 30 companies with whom C4 has worked for the first time, including: Stardotstar, Clusta, CX Partners, Mobile Pie, Numiko, Chunk, Loc8, Mubaloo, Nice, UsTwo, Super User Studio, Lingobee, Render Positive and The Connected Set”.
Activity in the North of England saw C4 work for the first time with companies including digital supplier 13 Strides, commissioned for design and editorial content for C4's IAAF World Athletics Championships. In addition to producing the Street Summer website, Numiko are developing the website for online comedy showcase Comedy Blaps.
C4 is also investing in Northern Ireland. Waddell Media's 4Thought.tv has been recommissioned for a second year and its digital content, created by digital partnership Atto and Johnston North, is being relaunched this month. Viral and digital animation company, Flickerpix Animations, has received funding to develop viral animations as part of the 2012 Paralympics project. 
In Scotland, C4 has made a series of multiplatform commissions throughout the year, including digital and gaming company Chunk, who have been commissioned to provide the multiplatform content for forthcoming game show The Bank Job. Digital agency ISO has also been commissioned to produce arts shorts to complement the Random Acts strand.
Commenting on this array of activity, Richard Davidson-Houston, Head of Channel 4 Online said: "Strength and diversity of supply are the most important drivers of our success. I am proud to say that our commitment to diversity will shortly be underpinned with the appointment of a Commissioning Editor for Games based in Glasgow."
Susie Wright, Media Project Manager, C4 Creative Diversity, added: "Diversity of supply is proving to be a major success for Channel 4. What's exciting for me is that we are working with more emergent  and new companies than ever before, many of which have never before worked with Channel 4."