Leading Digital Publisher Valnet Pivots to Video, Realizes 30% Quarterly Growth
Digital Video Scales Quickly, Becoming 40% of All Content for Valnet
The explosion in online video is fundamentally altering the publishing strategy for online media publisher Valnet, Inc.. “We know video is fast becoming the most consumed type of content,” states Angel Berrocal, Vice President of Video Content at Valnet. “Every distribution platform is turning into a video platform as users' expectations around content are changing. Our mission is to be one of the biggest distributors of online video content, and to use video to set us apart as a digital media publisher.”
Valnet, which creates and distributes original content for eight brands, began developing and publishing digital video content on its first YouTube channel a little over two years ago. The company now publishes 8 new videos to YouTube daily, boasts 13 million YouTube subscribers, and records 10 million daily views.
Taking Video Beyond YouTube
Looking to go beyond YouTube, Valnet began building its own video ecosystem so viewers also could watch video content directly on the company’s seven websites: The Sportster, ScreenRant, BabyGaga, The Talko, The Richest, The Things, and CBR. TheRichest.com, its most popular online lifestyle and entertainment magazine, exemplifies their video-focused publishing model, with content ranging from pop culture and celebrity lifestyle to surprising facts from around the world.
Valnet’s seven websites and dedicated YouTube channels boast a combined 524 million users. “We create content people want to watch, and we are developing new distribution channels to expand access to our video content,” says Berrocal.
The company’s video content library is exploding; today, Valnet has more than 10,000 video assets on its websites and publishes more than 50 additional videos on its websites daily. Video accounts for 40% of the company’s online content, and Valnet expects such content to almost double over the next two years.
“We are a company that moves fast and has plans to expand quickly, ” states Berrocal. “From day one, we knew we needed a flexible hosting solution that could scale. That is why we chose Brightcove Video Cloud. Partnering with Brightcove is enabling us to reach our goal of transitioning to 70% video and 30% written content.
Understanding Online Consumer Behavior
Berrocal notes that audience expectations and behaviors differ across platforms, and Valnet works hard to tailor content for each platform to provide the most engaging viewing experience. “We are a new player in the digital video for website space,” states Berrocal. “We are getting better at creating the right content for our websites so people come back specifically to view video content.”
Analytics Drive Content Creation
Valnet’s growing understanding of consumer behavior and unique approach to content creation has fueled the company’s explosive growth as a digital publisher. “We start by analyzing the potential of content in terms of consumption and distribution, then reverse engineer down to the specific content assets,” explains Berrocal.
Research, analytics and user feedback are key. Valnet tracks and analyzes a wide array of metrics: what platforms audiences are on, what viewers are consuming on a regular basis, how they’re discovering content, number of unique video views, time spent viewing, video impressions, engagement, and traffic for each of its seven brands. It’s a continuous cycle of analytics, content creation, review, analytics and new content. “This allows us to create the right content every time,” says Berrocal. “We identify trends and create content designed to go viral.”
Flexible Online Video Platform Supports Rapid Expansion of Video Content
Easy-to-use, impactful analytics are essential to Valnet's business model. This was one of the key factors in Valnet’s choice of Brightcove’s Video Cloud. “It is very important for us to give our video creators access to simple-to-use analytics so they can create the right content. Brightcove does this, simplifying that process. Brightcove analytics are accessible, understandable, and actionable, and the interface is intuitive, so it’s easy for content creators to engage quickly and use the platform effectively. It gives us the flexibility to expand video content at will.”
As Valnet grows its video portfolio, it will enable content contributors to upload videos directly to Brightcove. “We will continue to do quality assurance through the Brightcove platform, then publish the content that has been approved by our QA specialists,” explains Berrocal. “Brightcove provides us with a very streamlined, effective way to set up quickly and scale while keeping control of what gets published on our websites. It’s a very complete solution.”
Valnet is also looking towards using Brightcove Social to automatically publish native content to other video distribution platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, and analyze viewership. “A few years from now, people will consume Valnet video on a myriad of distribution channels. Platforms like Facebook that autoplay content in video form are doing a lot to enable the discovery of video content. Being able to publish natively to that platform and easily analyze the results alongside our own web properties is incredibly valuable to us.”
“Brightcove enables us to scale quickly to reach the very aggressive goals we set for the first phase of this initiative,” concludes Berrocal. “We are very ambitious as to how far we want to take our video business, and have not scratched the surface—yet.”