Posted by Fifty Team

14 Jun, 2021

How UKTV attracted new and younger viewers to its crime channel Alibi

UKTV is a multi-award winning media company with seven channels: Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday and on-demand service UKTV Play. UKTV’s media objectives focus on driving viewership figures both on television screens and their VOD player, with audience verticals generally being two-tiered: core channel audiences and show-specific.

Network visualisation of the UKTV Audience as seen on the Fifty platform.
The UKTV audience


UKTV came to Fifty seeking to change the perception of its British and US crime drama channel Alibi. While the pay tv channel has high awareness, it struggles with the category’s lowest conversion to viewing – only 2% of viewers choose the channel after the main terrestrials. Viewers understand the channel’s “range”, but crime fans perceive Alibi as a channel of old detective show reruns rather than original content.

UKTV’s prior attempts to shift perceptions used a broad media approach, which largely failed. In this instance, Fifty chose to use a hyper-targeted, data-led media strategy, focused on engaging users who were likely to resonate specifically with Alibi’s latest blockbuster, Briarpatch.


Fifty worked in partnership with Hearts & Science to enrich the understanding of Alibi’s existing audience and identify new audiences to build excitement for Briarpatch’s launch through a video campaign.  Since the show had already launched in the US, we also used social listening tools to find users in the UK who were interested in the show pre-launch.

Alibi has a small social audience of 12.3k, but using our network science technology, we were able to build out an audience of potential viewers to 2.44m, clustering them into tribes based on shared interests and passions. These identified tribes were then used to create valuable targeting areas. 

Once the study was up and running we were able to then use social listening tools to understand which tribes had a positive affinity with the show, thereby developing strong and relevant prospecting and targeting strategies.

Briarpatch debuted in the UK to an audience of 328k viewers, which was 71% higher than the viewer audience of that slot on average. The show also brought in a higher percentage of the much sought after age 35-44 demographic, with 40% of the audience fitting this category, versus the usual 30% for the slot.


Fifty can enhance traditional planning strategies. Although Alibi had a small seed audience, Fifty’s access to a wide pool of data sets allows us to expand our audience understanding, empowering better planning decisions.

Fifty uses dynamic data for better success. Constantly monitoring the social conversation around Briarpatch enabled us to reprospect and retarget to create more efficient campaigns.

Fifty can track incremental changes in your audience. As more people tuned in to watch Briarpatch, we saw the tribes of Alibi’s audience change to more mainstream – not just those interested in factual television – delivering new opportunities for Alibi.

UKTV // Check out our latest case studies here.

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