Brightcove Enriches Discovery and Engagement for California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a multifaceted scientific institution committed to cutting edge research, educational outreach and finding new and innovative ways to engage and inspire the public. Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the nonprofit Academy uses online video to expand its audience beyond the Bay Area, allowing people from across the country and around the world to connect with its mission – to explore, explain and protect the natural world.
Our site administrators and everyone who contributes content to the Academy have been extremely happy with the Video Cloud solution. Now people can generate content in the Video Cloud Studio and post it immediately to any of our digital properties.”
Interactive Developer for the California Academy of Sciences
The Academy has three primary distribution points for online video – “Science Today” for science news-related content; “Video Collections” for online media archives; and live-streaming, which includes 24/7 webcam footage of select exhibits. Video content is a key component of the Academy’s broader mission of public engagement, as not everyone has the means to see the exhibits in-person. Accessibility (especially for mobile device users) and the ability to update content quickly and easily was a primary consideration for the Academy when selecting a video solution.
Brightcove Video Cloud Online Video Platform – April 2010
- Increased website traffic
- Boosted social network following
- Grew audience and membership
- Improved user experience
Engaging, Easy, Organized
Bringing the Academy’s Mission to Life
The Academy began live-streaming its most popular content – starting with its African penguin exhibit – in August 2008. It was a huge success, generating thousands of views and building excitement among Academy supporters and new audiences alike. “Suddenly, we’ve got people from all over the world intimately engaged with our brand and our exhibits,” said Greg Rotter, Interactive Developer for the California Academy of Sciences.
Since choosing Brightcove Video Cloud to manage its video content, the Academy now has a single distribution point for publishing, tagging and maintaining its video assets. Rotter and his team built a content management system (CMS) that interfaces directly with the Video Cloud application-programming interface (API). Now, Academy content managers have the ability to upload, tag and distribute any type of video – via the website, mobile site or social media portals.
“Our site administrators and everyone who contributes content to the Academy have been extremely happy with the Video Cloud solution,” Rotter said. “Now people can generate content in the Video Cloud Studio and post it immediately to any of our digital properties.”
Priming Donors and Driving Membership
One of the Academy’s most popular online properties – its live-streaming African penguin habitat – is now available as a mobile app for iPhone and Android users. Pocket Penguins has received over two hundred thousand downloads and was featured in the iTunes App Store as the number one Education download. It has an option for donating $5 via SMS to the Academy and is used as a platform for communicating special offers to users, such as reduced admission to the museum.
“Our primary goal with our live-streaming apps is to grow our audience, drive membership and advance our mission of educating the public and getting people excited about science and conservation,” Rotter said. “Because the apps are so popular, we have gotten thousands of new museum visitors – many of whom we believe will become regular donors, members and supporters.”
Rotter hopes to leverage the Video Cloud platform to create even more application-based video for the Academy, using inexpensive consumer-grade cameras to capture all live exhibits in real-time before broadcasting to consumers using Video Cloud. Rotter and his team are currently in the process of putting together a wide-ranging video strategy for the entire Academy, and Video Cloud is a primary driver for that strategy.
“Now that Video Cloud has made it easier than ever for us to aggregate and distribute video content across a wide range of platforms, our digital asset management strategy has really taken off,” Rotter said. “My goal is to have a robust system in place that will encompass the video needs of all our stakeholders – from systems administrators to researchers to sponsors – and integrate it all together using Video Cloud.”