S4C has seen further growth in audiences using its catch-up services, with an increase of 11.6% per year in viewing sessions on the players.
As S4C publishes its Annual Report for the year 2021-22, the broadcaster also noted that there will be extensive investment in new viewing platforms, and that they will introduce new methods of measuring the numbers that turn to S4C on those platforms.
S4C's main social media accounts across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube achieved their highest ever viewing hours in 2021–22, recording an increase of 42% year-on-year. Also during 2021–22, 366,300 hours of content were watched across S4C channels on YouTube - an increase of 13.5% compared to the previous year.
Rhodri Williams, Chairman of the S4C Unitary Board, said:
"2021–22 was again a period of change for S4C. The pandemic continued to affect our activities and those of the wider sector as we responded to changes in Covid restrictions during the year. I am extremely grateful to the production sector and S4C staff for their tireless work in adapting during the pandemic.
"Many of the viewing habits that emerged during the pandemic continue. S4C certainly follows market trends, and increasing the use of our content on a variety of platforms will be the aim over the next few years. Over 271,000 are now registered to watch on S4C Clic, and children's programmes, sports and drama are leading the way."
Sian Doyle, Chief Executive of S4C, added:
"As we continue to move towards broadcasting on different platforms and new services, we will review our metrics to ensure that we understand the latest viewing trends, to allow us to target and personalize our content to the appropriate audience.
"As we look to the future, we will continue to bring bold content to Wales and reflect major Welsh events to the population of Wales and beyond. We want S4C to be home to Wales' national experiences, with our content recognized on the international stage, helping the Welsh language to thrive in Wales, the UK and in the global marketplace.
A number of original and new programmes, created here in Wales for S4C, have won several awards and been exported worldwide over the past year including Am Dro, which has been sold to over six countries in Europe as well as BBC Two, Gwesty Aduniad, now in production for broadcast on the BBC network and Tŷ am Ddim, a Channel 4 co-production which won three awards during 2021–22 including 'Best Daytime Programme' at the Broadcast, RTS, and BAFTA awards.
The report also states that S4C, in launching its new strategy, will ensure that S4C is a home for everyone - regardless of who they are or whether they speak the Welsh language or not; promoting diversity and inclusion across all types of households. Their programmes will offer something for everyone, and be available to everyone by using methods such as subtitling which makes it easier for new viewers in Wales and beyond to enjoy the content. There will be an emphasis on increasing Welsh and English subtitles across S4C, so that anyone can enjoy the content, whatever their access needs.
A copy of the Annual Report can be found here.