Thursday, February 02, 2006

King Of Beers Becomes King Of Content, Uses Super Bowl To Launch Direct-To-Consumer Channel

N A MOVE THAT'S SURE to cause a stir at ABC, as well as the other major networks, long-time Super Bowl advertiser Anheuser-Busch will use its buy in ABC's coverage of the game on Sunday to launch its own direct-to-consumer network. Details of the strategy are still under wraps, but the new channel, code-named "The Bud Screen," will debut sometime during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XL, offering viewers the opportunity to download advertising, programming and branded entertainment content directly to their computers, iPods and other devices. The initiative is the most aggressive example yet in a growing trend of marketers utilizing broadband video downloading to bypass traditional TV outlets to deliver their content directly to consumers. Unlike previous direct-to-consumer video plays, the Anheuser-Busch deal is not a one-time, or limited test of broadband video distribution, but is the launch of a new, ongoing distribution channel that eventually is expected to be branded "Bud TV."

"This changes the whole concept of broadcasting out to consumers. Typically media companies have done that. With the Internet, we blow out that old model and enable advertisers to reach consumers directly without having the media companies sell the ad space," says Hilmi Ozguc, CEO of Maven, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company that will power the new Bud channel. (More)

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