A Try-Before-You-Buy Vacation, Courtesy of Alaska Channel

Whether you’re a micro-manager or a flexible free-spirit, one thing’s for sure: planning a vacation is the absolute worst. Though both personalities bring wonderful things to the table (i.e., thoroughly prepared itineraries, spontaneous adventure), there’s a reason for all the moaning and groaning. Vacation planning is just pure anxiety. Timing, money, location, safety—these are all things that impact the planning process.

Thankfully, Bob Kaufman understands this, and it’s exactly why he founded his company, Alaska Channel—to give tepid travelers a preview of what an authentic Alaskan vacation looks like. Think of it as a “try before you buy” service. People can watch Alaska Channel videos to gauge the best way to make their Alaskan trip an unforgettable experience.

Kaufman reaches millions of people through his multiple business units that each act as a distribution touchpoint for Alaska Channel’s video content. Kaufman’s video production company, Alaska Channel TV, is the heart and soul of the operation. Kaufman partners with local and national tourism groups to showcase their services through high-definition video content. These videos are then put into heavy rotation throughout airports, convention centers, and more than 10,000 Alaska hotel rooms.

If you’re in the lower 48 and curious about an Alaskan vacation, you can also view Kaufman’s videos on his website, Alaska.org. With over 35 million visitors a year, it’s a goldmine of information for Alaska travel, including details on lodging, transportation, activities, and local know-how. Interested in taking a bear-viewing tour over Cook Inlet? There’s a video showing you what’s entailed, different tour operators and how to book.


Or how about a dog sled adventure along the Tanana River? There’s a video for that too, showing what it’s like to mush, just like a real racer.  And for travelers already exploring the Last Frontier, GPS-driven  The Alaska App highlights nearby sights and sounds with video and allows users to chat and share content.

For over 23 years, Alaska Channel has provided a window to the world, giving center stage to the awe-inspiring beauty of the state. Kaufman’s videos enhance the visitor’s experience across all distribution channels, boosting brand awareness and tourism sales. Alaska Channel videos are incredibly powerful from an inspiration and conversion standpoint; pages with video have a CTR that’s about 30% higher than those without, according to Kaufman.  And while working in Alaska provides a unique set of challenges that impact mobile downloads and playback—weather, terrain, infrastructure—even things like lack of outdoor advertising and inconsistent cellular coverage across the state—Kaufman uses Brightcove to take care of the technical side of video distribution, enabling him to focus on the business challenges of producing and marketing video.

“We know from clients that our videos have noticeably and dramatically increased their business through the years,” says Kaufman. “I don’t look at micro-statistics; what I do look at is the path showing a customer, who last year had 600 clients, now has 1,500 clients.”

To read more about Bob Kaufman and how video is at the heart of Alaska Channel’s innovative business model, click here.