We chose Brightcove because we know our audience viewing preferences will continue to evolve, and with Brightcove Beacon, we can update the user experience across all platforms from one interface and add additional platform reach without having to build from scratch.Michael StonecypherVP of Digital Media/Broadcast at CBN
As audience demographics and viewing preferences shift, long-time broadcaster Christian Broadcasting Network boldly stepped ahead to launch their over-the-top (OTT) streaming services across multiple devices and platforms—giving their viewers the freedom to view content wherever they are, all with a consistent and intuitive viewing experience.
Founded in 1960, The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is a global evangelical ministry committed to spreading the gospel message to the world through mass media. Using television, the Internet, and social media, CBN is committed to taking its message of hope to 159 nations and territories, with programs and content translated into 85 languages. From its headquarters and main studio in Virginia Beach, Virginia, it produces several shows, including its flagship program The 700 Club as well as several news programs, such as CBN NewsWatch and Christian World News.
As the CBN digital team evaluated moving from its legacy broadcast television roots into the digital TV world, they understood it would require a significant internal shift. But it was a new direction that presented new opportunities—especially in the over-the-top (OTT) segment—to directly reach a growing global audience that is moving away from traditional television viewing.
They quickly realized the path to success would require more than a new web experience. Research showed that this emerging audience was still very engaged in watching news and family programming, but wanted to access that content on more than their mobile and web browsers, but also on television via Apple TV, Roku, and smart TV apps. These users were looking for a single experience that offered the breadth of content that was currently offered across multiple sites and apps, from news and interviews to daily inspiration and original programming.
“Our goal was to build a user-friendly, consistent digital presence in a simple and cost-effective way without having to shift company resources away from producing the content our viewers seek,” said Michael Stonecypher, VP of Digital Media/Broadcast at CBN.
CBN used the Brightcove Beacon™ SaaS-based OTT platform to deploy its new CBN Family application, a one-stop shop for CBN-produced news and video content. In order to reach their audience effectively, the app is published on several distribution platforms, including connected TV (Roku and Apple) and smart TV (Android, Samsung Tizen, and Amazon Fire).
“We chose Brightcove because we know our audience viewing preferences will continue to evolve, and with Brightcove Beacon, we can update the user experience across all platforms from one interface and add additional platform reach without having to build from scratch,” said Stonecypher.
With Brightcove Beacon, CBN managed a simple and intuitive workflow across existing systems—without having to invest in additional hardware or making significant resource changes. Thanks to the flexibility of the platform, CBN was able to quickly launch a new OTT service and then give it a more customized look and feel, enabled by Brightcove’s APIs that connect seamlessly with its new technology. The network continues to evolve the OTT offering to meet the demands of its global audience.
“Subscribers who may have only accessed one of our properties can now easily navigate from news to original shows—all within one single app—and the response has been tremendously positive,” said Stonecypher.
Seeking to offer the best online video experience possible, CBN recently launched an ambitious project called the CBN Family App. This app draws upon more than 50 years of dedicated television programming to provide exclusive on-demand video access to thousands of videos.
Users get unlimited access to the CBN streaming library and can enjoy premium video presentations from Pat and Gordon Robertson, award-winning documentaries, a family-friendly library of children’s programming including Superbook, as well as the latest episodes of CBN favorites The 700 Club and 700 Club Interactive, the latest programming from CBN News, and many others.
CBN expects to continue to grow the platform by addressing global audiences directly on the devices they’re most likely to use to watch video. But, it also expects that the breadth of device accessibility will accelerate the migration of its overall audience, to its new OTT properties as well.