Cloud-Based Video Platform Quickly Enables Profitable Niche OTT Service
The media landscape is rapidly changing, driven by a combination of new technologies, evolving consumer behaviors, and morphing business models. Today, small, nimble startup companies can establish profitable streaming services targeted at niche audiences. One of the newest and most dynamic is DangerTV.
“The media industry has evolved from three TV networks to thousands of OTT channels as entrepreneurs target specific content to launch video businesses,” explains Alvaro Saralegui, DangerTV co-founder. “OTT is changing the world, especially for small, agile companies.”
“If you have terrific content, a strong and scalable technology platform and good marketing, you can launch a network for pennies on the dollar,” adds Javier Saralegui, president and founder.
The five founders of DangerTV, all veterans of the broadcast and digital industries, saw the increasing popularity of online video, along with the proliferation of danger-centric content, and recognized an opportunity to launch a niche channel. DangerTV aggregates and curates danger-centric content that evokes awe, fear, or both. Its video content features stories of survival, animal attacks, wild weather, war, crime and speed.
“The quality of what you can stream and at what price is unbelievable,” explains Scott Falconer, co-founder. “We were able to launch DangerTV quickly and affordably partly because we partner with companies like Brightcove and use their existing technologies. With Brightcove, we don’t need to invest in building technology, we can focus our resources on acquiring unique content.”
DangerTV targets the 70 million millennial and Gen Z males in the U.S.—a substantial market. Saralegui points out this demographic is digitally savvy, has little affinity for cable subscriptions, and is highly sought after by advertisers.
In its first month of operation, DangerTV had 50,000 unique views. That number jumped to 200,000 unique views the following month. “Content is the key,” states Saralegui. “We stand out because of what we aggregate, how we curate it, and how we tie it to the DangerTV brand.”
The Appeal of Fear and Awe
“As we shared our concept of a network built around danger-focused content, the response was very positive; everyone believed danger videos would be extremely viral,” states Saralegui. “That was our belief as well, but we wanted actual data to prove it.
DangerTV looked for data to validate what types of content go viral, and why, referencing Jonah Berger, Associate Professor of Marketing at Wharton and author of the book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Berger’s research showed that for readers or viewers to share good news, it had to inspire awe. When they shared bad news, it was because it generated fear. “That became the editorial continuum by which we choose our content,” explains Saralegui. “It gave us a very concrete path to follow.”
DangerTV aggregates danger content from production companies, catalogs, and independent documentary filmmakers around the world. Today, the network offers between 500 and 700 hours of video content plus a variety of news sources, wire services, photography and user-generated content. Over 80% of the network’s long-form content is new to the U.S. market. Their goal is to share awe-inspiring, PG-rated content that shows respect for the subject matter; DangerTV does not accept content that is grotesque, or content that shows death on screen.
Multiple Opportunities to Monetize Content
Initially, DangerTV will be monetizing its content through advertising sponsorships. They are focusing on a half dozen key advertisers, providing them with exclusive opportunities to make their products and brand stand out. These opportunities range from the creation of native content to exclusive sponsorship of DangerTV events.
Future plans to expand revenue include adding a subscription service linked to a freemium model, where much of the content will be free but some exclusive content will exist behind a paywall. Live streaming of ‘Danger’ events will provide additional revenue opportunities.
“Brightcove’s cloud-based video platform, Video Cloud, provides the tools we need to support multiple types of revenue streams, including advertising, subscriptions, and a combination of both,” says Saralegui. “Pre-roll, mid-roll, and billboards are all possible and built into the system. And Brightcove’s support for server-side ad insertion (SSAI) will enable a seamless, TV-like viewing experience and minimize the impact of ad blocking.”
Brightcove Online Video Platform Shatters Barriers To Entry
DangerTV chose the Brightcove Video Cloud platform because it delivers the best video performance, is scalable, enables content to be added easily and quickly, and positions the company for the future. “We want to serve video and serve video really well; Brightcove enables us to do that,” notes Falconer.
Falconer notes he only has a small team of 5 to 6 people running DangerTV’s world-class site, and Brightcove gives them confidence in the site’s ongoing performance. “Our users have very little tolerance for performance issues, so it’s important we are flawless, especially since we are a scrappy company trying to deliver a service that is on par with Netflix and Hulu or any of the big guys. We deliver because Brightcove provides a strong, stable platform with a high-functioning team behind it.”
“Tomorrow, if we have a massive influx of users, we know Brightcove can scale to meet the demand,” continues Falconer. “And, a year from now, if we are delivering 10 times as much traffic, we know Brightcove will handle the infrastructure and evolving architecture, so my team can focus on other things.”
As a small and growing network, Danger TV also likes the flexibility Brightcove gives them to customize components, and use only the functionality they need at any specific point in time. With Brightcove, they easily can add functionality when they need it.
Social Media Helps Lock In an Audience
The growth of DangerTV is outpacing the network’s initial expectations. “We know if we get our content in front of people, they will watch it,” says Saralegui. DangerTV posts short clips on its social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram, to draw viewers to its site. “We need to capture their attention quickly or they move on; they just have too many options.” The formula is working, evidenced by the 200,000 people who viewed a 60-second video about snakes that the network posted on Instagram.
“We see Brightcove as the enabler of an emerging industry of streaming apps and OTT,” concludes Javier Saralegui. “They are enabling new networks with niche content to launch quickly and affordably, while providing a clear path to profitability by supporting a range of monetization options.”