Hollyoaks to stream worldwide for free in groundbreaking move

Hollyoaks has announced plans to stream worldwide for free in a groundbreaking move for UK soaps.

The Channel 4 show is to make full episodes available on YouTube for fans around the globe, starting from this week.

Hollyoaks began uploading full episodes on YouTube last autumn as part of the soap's new stream-first approach.

The episodes have so far been geo-blocked so they can only be viewed from the UK, but these restrictions will be lifted this week.

mercedes mcqueen in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

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International fans of Hollyoaks will be able to watch the episodes via the show's official YouTube channel.

As with the UK, daily episodes will be released on YouTube one week after their initial release on Channel 4 Streaming.

The announcement is good news for fans in the US, who were disappointed when Hollyoaks stopped streaming on Hulu last year.

Kate Little, Joint Managing Director for Hollyoaks' production company Lime Pictures, commented: "Hollyoaks is always synonymous with digital firsts and I am delighted that the show's global audience will now be able to find and watch episodes when they want on YouTube.

lucas hay and dillon ray in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

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"With a proven track record of enticing younger viewers with gripping storytelling and engaging characters, this digitally-led offering of episodes will allow new and existing audiences worldwide to get their Hollyoaks fix with ease."

In addition, there will be 20 recent episodes in total for viewers to stream before joining the same daily drop pattern as UK YouTube subscribers.

These will start with Episode 6363 (E4 airdate April 30), which saw Kitty Draper sing 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' at the Hollyoaks Pride Festival.

kitty draper in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

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Matt Risley, Managing Director at Channel 4's in-house social agency 4Studio added: "We're hugely excited to see Hollyoaks' continual growth on YouTube, and this innovative move towards global distribution will only supercharge it further.

"YouTube is a core viewing platform for young viewers in the UK and abroad, so there's no better place for us to be reaching new audiences with the best soap on TV."

Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4 each weekday at 7.30pm. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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