The soap first aired on the channel in 1995, but a shake-up by bosses aims to target the show’s younger demographic.
Channel 4 has confirmed the change to The Independent, revealing that each episode will be uploaded to YouTube after it has premiered on E4.
Since 2005, episodes of Hollyoaks have premiered on E4, with each episode subsequently being broadcast on Channel 4 the following day.
But Channel 4 bosses are hoping to tap into the digital age by teasing a first look at each new episode online before broadcasting the episode on E4 half an hour later. Whereas that episode would have aired on Channel 4 the next day, it will now be made available to view on YouTube instead.
Channel 4’s chief content officer Ian Katz said: “Hollyoaks has always been the youngest and most innovative soap so it’s fitting that it should be the first to embrace the changes in the behaviour of younger viewers and switch to a genuinely digital-led release pattern. It was the first UK soap to move to a stream-first model last year and this is the next phase of that evolution.
“We hope making Hollyoaks available on YouTube, as well as our own platforms, will introduce a whole new generation to the show.”
Hollyoaks follows a group of suburban college students through numerous ups and downs in their lives in Chester in the north-west of England. The show was created by Phil Redmond, who had previously devised Brookside for the channel, and has been a Channel 4 staple since 1995.
Despite being set in Chester, the soap is primarily filmed at Lime Pictures’ studios in the Childwall suburb of Liverpool.
The soap has always been perceived to be targeted at the young adult audience, and has won awards – including Best British Soap in 2014 and 2019 – for its tackling of important subjects. These have included themes around mental health, knife crime, violence against women and conversion therapy.
Over the years, Hollyoaks has made stars of Will Mellor, Ricky Whittle and Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel. Other actors to have appeared on Hollyoaks mover the years include Gary Lucy, Emmett J Scanlan, Warren Brown and Jennifer Metcalfe.
Nick Packard, who plays Toy Hutchinson, is the only original actor to still appear on the show.