Bud.TV Postmortem: Here Ends the Dream of the Branded Video Site

budcan.jpgWhen it launched in February 2007, the day after the Super Bowl, Bud.TV had already come to symbolize the new age of brand-as-programmer. BMWFilms was still semi-fresh in the ad industry’s collective memory, and the entry of Anheuser-Busch’s destination site seemed destined to carry the torch.

Two years later Bud.TV is gone, and with it the idea that major content destinations — especially video centric ones — can become preferred entertainment.

There are many reasons for this. One is the necessity for syndication. It was evident almost as soon as Bud.TV launched that the primary model for online video would be anytime/anywhere consumption, and that exclusivity would fall by the wayside. (A slow-learned lesson, as evidenced by this week’s Hulu and Boxee decoupling at the insistence of video content owners.)

Another reason is the dominance of YouTube, where any self-respecting video programmer — branded or not — must have a channel. Indeed, Bud.TV still has a YouTube channel, which is where its one breakaway hit — “Swear Jar” — garnered most of its traffic.

Another, of course, is resources: production expertise, focus, and simple talent. “If the networks can’t continuously produce that [volume of content], how can a beer company?” A-B VP of Marketing Keith Levy told AdAge.

(Image credit: schizoform. Licensed through creative commons.)

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