|Picture format||576i 16:9 SDTV|
|Owner||Channel Four Television Corporation|
|Launched||30 October 2002 (original) |
29 June 2022 (relaunch)
|Replaced||The Hits (original)|
Box Hits (relaunch)
|Closed||29 June 2022 (original)|
|Replaced by||E4 Extra (original)|
|Former names||The Hits (2002–2008; original)|
Smash Hits (2001–2016)
Box Hits (2016–2022)
|Virgin TV Go||Watch live (UK only)|
Watch live (Ireland only)
4Music is a British music television channel owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation that launched on 15 August 2008.
The original incarnation, replacing The Hits television channel, showed a mix of music and entertainment programming. On 29 June 2022, the channel was replaced by E4 Extra, a new sister channel and extension of E4. On that date, 4Music was relaunched as a full-time music channel and a replacement for Box Hits, which would cease broadcasting the same day.
The channel launched in 2008 with a ten-minute, on-screen countdown. During the countdown, clips from popular music videos were faded through the screen, including clips from promotions for the channel. The channel then launched at 7 pm with a promotional advert before fading into "Davina (McCall) and Steve (Jones)'s 20 Big Ones"; the first song at number 20 being "The Pretender" by Foo Fighters, and Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" at number 1.
Kylie Minogue's KYLIEX2008 tour was broadcast, and completing the launch night line-up was Big Brother Live, where Rachel Rice was given a 'favourite things party' for surviving that night's eviction. She and her chosen favourite housemate, Kathreya Kasisopa, were taken to a private room where Rachel's top 10 favourite songs were played. Live coverage of the 2008 V Festival was shown on 16 and 17 August and highlights were shown on subsequent days. These highlights sparked complaints, however, as to the overall quality of coverage, due to the main headliners not getting their full sets played out.
Despite the arguments between Davina and Steve as to whose face appeared first on the channel, the first face seen on 4Music was Kylie Minogue, introducing her live concert at 9 pm on the launch night (as they later explained).
The launch also saw a new Digital on-screen graphic appear on the screen, and new idents with a woman swivelling on a chair with the channel's logo in the background. The concept for the channel's on-air presentation was similar to the previous idea The Hits had, with a TV suddenly filling with colour throughout the room.
On 2 April 2013, all Box Television channels went free-to-air on satellite, apart from 4Music which went free-to-view. As a result, the channels were removed from the Sky EPG in Ireland. Eventually, 4Music also went free-to-air on 7 February 2017 and launched on Freesat, replacing The Box, but reverted to being free-to-view on 12 December 2018. On 25 January 2022, a new transmission of 4Music free-to-air on satellite began, with a post from a Sky employee on the official Sky customer forums subsequently confirming that the free-to-air version would replace the FTV version on the Sky guide from 1 February.
The move back to free-to-air permitted the readdition of 4Music back to the Freesat channel guide from 1 February 2022, following soon after the restoration of the Box Plus Network's music channels and Channel 4 HD to full Freesat listing, after a period during which they had only been available via manual tune-in. On 1 March 2022, 4Music was restored to Sky in Ireland.
On 25 September 2017, 4Music received an update to its on-screen graphics, revolving around four squares which extend to create the 4Music logo and animate to form the artist credit. In 2018, 4Music changed its logo to add the current Channel 4 logo to it, with '4' and 'Music' mashed up together. This change also happened to its other channels.
From 16 April 2018, the channel now shows more entertainment programmes as well as archive Channel 4 programming to coincide with a change in the EPG numbers on Sky from 1 May 2018.
On 4 November 2020, 4Music moved from channel 29 to 30 as part of a move up where every channel from channel 24 to 54 on the platform moved up one place to allow BBC Four to move to channel 24 in Scotland due to new Ofcom rules regarding certain PSB channels requiring greater prominence on EPGs. This is because the BBC Scotland channel is on channel 9 in Scotland, whilst BBC Four is on channel 9 in the rest of the UK. On 26 January 2022, a similar shuffle down of channels – to free up LCN 23 nationwide for the revived BBC Three – saw 4Music moved again, to 31 (with E4 +1 in turn taking over 30).
Transmission of 4Music and other channels operated by Channel 4 was impacted by the activation of a fire suppressant system at the premises of Red Bee Media on 25 September 2021. From 27 September to 6 October 2021, 4Music simulcasted the output of The Box, in place of usual scheduled programming, with a note shown on EPGs about the technical problems. The simulcast was changed to Box Hits on 7 October 2021, while output from 4Music was restored on 15 October, though initially with music videos only. Longform programming returned to the channel on 9 November, beginning at 12.07pm with Couples Come Dine with Me. The last song played before longform programming resumed was "Remember" by Becky Hill and David Guetta.
On 13 June 2022, Channel 4 announced that 4Music's channel slot would be replaced with E4 Extra on 29 June 2022. 4Music itself would transition to Box Hits' slot, effectively replacing the network. With the change, the channel transitioned back to being a full-time music channel. The final music video played on 4Music on Freeview prior to the channel transitioning to E4 Extra was "House on Fire" by Mimi Webb at 02:57 on 29 June; following the overnight infomercial block (closing with a short 4Music sting), transmission of E4 Extra began at 07:00.
On 23 August 2022, the On-Screen Graphics of 4Music were revised. The new graphics feature a larger logo, modified font and different animations when showing Artist/Song titles.
Programmes shown on the channel as of Tuesday 9 November 2021: From June 29, 2022, these programmes transitioned to other Channel 4 networks, E4 and E4 Extra.
The channel is also well known for repeating some of Channel 4's shows. Most of the shows listed below can also be found on E4, as that is a Channel Four Television Corporation service with a target market range of 16–34 years-of-age. As of September 2019, 4Music showed the following Channel 4 programmes in its schedule:
4Music has coverage at both festivals during the Summer, with highlights repeated frequently throughout the Summer. The channel also has stages at both events. At T4 on the Beach since 2007 (renamed the "T4 and 4Music Stage" in 2010) and at the V Festival since 2005 (then known as the "Channel 4 Stage", renamed to the "4Music Stage" in 2008).
T4 on the Beach ended after T4 ended its final run on 29 December 2012.
4Music logo 2012 to 2018