Monday, April 16, 2007

Anheuser-Busch Improving Bud.TV

Anheuser-Busch(A-B) is adding more bells and whistles to Bud.TV in hopes to lure more visitors. The brewer plans to load on video-sharing capabilities, full-screen video, a desktop notifier application, new programming and a heavy promotional push to boost viewership.

March audience numbers for Bud.TV suggest some sort of change is desperately needed. Bud.TV drew 152,000 unique visitors in March, 40% fewer than February's 253,000 visitors, according to ComScore Media Metrix. A-B executives have said they hope to draw between 2 million and 3 million visitors a month by early next year to the online network, which is costing the brewer somewhere between $30 million and $40 million.

A-B feels part of the reason for a declining audience is due to A-B's age-verification measures -- which force users to supply information from a driver's license or other state-issued identification -- are an obstacle to reaching a mass audience.

A-B VP-Global Media Tony Ponturo said the early content lacked that "wow factor," and Bud.TV would need a hit to boost traffic.

I visited the site briefly. It was easy to sign up. I only had to verify my name, zip code and date-of-birth. Afterwards, a page loaded showing a few mini-shows that were available to watch. I liked some of the mini-shows featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. Personally, I feel A-B should leverage its NASCAR sponsorship by including more NASCAR related stuff on the site. A-B is on the right track by including mini-shows featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. Interestingly, Bud.TV receives a fair amount of website traffic from consumers outside the United States. It may be a good ideal for A-B to promote the site more on an international level.

Bud.TV users come from these countries according to
United States64.4%
United Kingdom1.7%

Source: Ad Age

Bud.TV currently has an Alexa ranking of 64,646 as of April 16, 2007. Traffic volume to the site has dropped considerably since March 2007. Hopefully A-B will find ways to improve traffic visiting the site.

Unfortunately, Bud.TV has not received a lot of buzz among consumers talking online. The graph below shows the amount of discussion online about Bud.TV over the past few months.

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