Bud.TV has not been doing well as of late as others and I have written. Just last week, A-B’s chief executive, August Busch IV, told investors that the site would slowly be phased out over the course of the year.
Funny how things change in a few days.
It turns out there are a few more “pints in the keg” and A-B is determined to find out if these taste better than the first round of digital brews we (the consumer) were offered earlier this year (read this great WSJ article). A-B acknowledged it has much to learn when playing in the digital world – basically, the tried and true marketing techniques of their brick and mortar successes do not necessarily translate online. To solve the current misses with consumers the company is making a series of strategic changes in an effort to revitalize Bud.TV and make it the “online destination of cool information for beer drinkers” it was designed to be:
- Shorter videos (averaging 1 minute from the current 6 minutes)
- A social-networking component (details not available)
- Pulling content and videos from other sites (a la YouTube)
- Joke of the Day (or other content with daily changes)
- Releasing content to other sites such as YouTube and Yahoo
However, there is no word if one of – if not the – biggest hurdles to Bud.TV's success will be removed: the (tedious) age-verification system. The lack of clarity on this issue is interesting given that A-B is going to try distributing content to other sites that have no age-verification; is content going to “watered down” to be appropriate for viewers of all ages?
I think A-B should be commended for their efforts (basically, to become an entertainment company in the digital space when they are not one in the physical world) and their launch of Bud.TV. However, I will remain skeptical until the age-verification issue is resolved (I still think this is a huge problem) and I see the execution of the steps outline above (theory is always easier than implementation).
So, are we willing to have another round of Bud or are we ready to move on to something else? And, who’s turn is it to buy?