Hollyoaks announces huge change to how new episodes will premiere

Fans will be able to get their soap fix early.

Hollyoaks bosses have announced that the show will move to a new “streaming first” strategy next month.

ALLO SOAPS can reveal that new episodes will premiere on Channel 4’s on-demand service All 4 on a permanent basis.

One new episode will drop on All 4 every weekday morning, ahead of the E4 screening at 7pm that evening and the Channel 4 repeat at 6.30pm the following day.

Channel 4’s head of drama Caroline Hollick explained: “It feels like a natural step for Hollyoaks with its youthful outlook and audience to be the first UK soap to premiere new episodes on our streaming service on an ongoing basis.

“Our loyal audience want to get their soap fix when they want, where they want it and the series’ continued popularity on All 4 proves that.

“With this new ‘stream-first’ approach we are serving a much broader range of viewers, from those who want to stream, to those whose tea time ritual is kicked off with Hollyoaks each evening.”

Hollyoaks‘ executive producer Lucy Allan added: “We are excited to see Hollyoaks embrace the digital first proposition so favoured by its youth skewing audience. This feels progressive and full of opportunities for the show.”

Hollyoaks was the first soap to experiment with releasing episodes early for on-demand viewers. Christmas episodes premiered on All 4 as a box set in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

EastEndersCoronation Street and Emmerdale took a similar approach during the Euros last summer, releasing an entire week’s worth of episodes each Monday while the regular schedules were disrupted.

In December, Corrie and Emmerdale also released their Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day episodes early ahead of the linear transmissions.

The new Hollyoaks idea is in line with a ‘Future4’ strategy announced by Channel 4’s chief executive Alex Mahon last year, whereby scripted content will be primarily commissioned to debut on All 4 before linear broadcast.

In 2021, Hollyoaks was the most-streamed scripted series on All 4 and the second most-streamed series overall.

The recent hour-long explosion episode in January was also the most-streamed Hollyoaks episode of the last 12 months for views in the seven days following broadcast.

Hollyoaks airs new episodes from Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look screenings at 7pm on E4. Selected omnibus episodes are available via Amazon Prime Video.

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