Flying a kite at the mercy of the whipping wind, whilst surfing across the sea isn't for everyone, but the rush it generates entices more than 1.5 million enthusiasts across the globe and translates to an estimated $300 million industry.
Blue Juice, a UK-based digital agency that specialises in developing innovative video content and mobile apps for a host of diverse clients, saw an opportunity to jump on this loyal kitesurfing market and built a dedicated show to serve that audience.
Using Brightcove Video Cloud and native player SDKs, Blue Juice built The Kite Show, an online-only channel owned by Kiteworld Magazine that offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the intense world of kitesurfing. Since moving to the Brightcove platform, The Kite Show has experienced great success, at times even quadrupling its average viewing figures.
The accessibility of The Kite Show’s niche content has helped it build a strong, growing, and engaged audience. The SDKs allow them to quickly deploy content, enabling the team to work reactively when it comes to events such as the ‘Red Bull King of Air’.
The Kite Show is also now available to viewers on multiple platforms, including Amazon Fire TV, where The Kite Show app has been featured in Amazon’s app store under ‘Spotlight – Sports Apps’ and ‘New & Recommended.’ With the introduction of the TV app, The Kite Show has seen engagement rise up to 300% in comparison to mobile sessions.
We caught up with Craig Sawyer, Creative Director at Blue Juice, to learn more about the origin of the show and how it was brought to life through Brightcove.
Why did you start The Kite Show?
Back in 2010, there wasn’t a single place to watch good quality kitesurfing content online. As a viewer you would have to troll the Internet for hours to find some decent content. We started putting together 20 minute programmes to host on YouTube, but this soon became unsustainable for a variety of reasons, including advertising policies. We decided to work with Brightcove instead, using its technology to host and publish videos on the Kite Show web site.
How do you monetize the content?
With such a niche audience, viewer numbers are never going to be huge, but what you do have is an extremely targeted audience which is invaluable to certain brands trying to reach that audience. In 2013, it was apparent that a lot of our viewers were moving towards mobile app consumption. By integrating our ad server with Brightcove Video Cloud , we were able to offer surf brands advertising opportunities that targeted their key audience , specifically using video adverts that were not seen as intrusive - at least not as intrusive as in-stream ads.
How do you see the industry changing?
At Blue Juice, what we are seeing more and more of is that brands are shifting their budget towards video rather than print advertising. Although print advertising is still important for brand awareness, video can provide a direct ROI through clickable links – something that is crucial to a brand when looking to advertise. We are now able to sell advertising across both our online and offline channels, which offers flexibility to our customers.
In summary, through our partnership with Brightcove, we have been able to create a unique platform to deliver high quality niche content that is on par to viewing any other mainstream sport. This is why we like working with Brightcove – as they continue to innovate with new technologies to deliver and monetize premium video experiences, the benefits translate to our service offering which is great for us and our customers.
To learn more about how Blue Juice uses Video Cloud, read the complete case study here.
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