Bud.TV Not Viral

Nigel Hollis of Millward Brown examines the jerky start for A-B’s $30 million dollar online content play, Bud.TV.

Unfortunately for Bud.TV, it seems that the pundits were not alone. While money can buy you content, it can’t, apparently, buy you respect.
Of the five males aged 21 to 27 who viewed the site for me, none found the content compelling enough to add it to their destination sites or recommend to friends.
There is a fundamental mismatch between Bud.TV’s presentation style and the interactive experience many younger people are looking for online: it doesn’t offer a sense of discovery or a means of self-expression.

Om Malik’s NewTeeVee reports that Bud.TV drew 253,000 unique visitors in February, just one-tenth of the projected traffic. The site received an average of 20,000 visits per day in the week following the Super Bowl, but only 800-1,000 bothered to register. “You can have good writers, good actors and good shows. But watching video online is all about ease of use,” says NewTeeVee’s Steve Bryant.
[UPDATE] According to Ad Age, Bud.TV drew 152,000 unique visitors last month, 40% fewer than February’s 253,000 visitors.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. theo kie says:

    This brings up an interesting issue as we look ahead to broadcasters put more and more of their programming on the web.
    Numerous groups are turning up the heat on younger children watching programs that are too violent, too sexual in nature and generally inappropriate for them. I would expect content providers will eventually need to institute a similar registration program in order to limit underage access to such programs. One would think this might be seen as a barrier to other viewers, causing similar problems to what Bud.TV is seeing.
    Unless, of course, Malik’s observations are less relevant than the fact Bud.TV’s content simply isn’t that interesting to the audience.

  2. I finally signed up and checked Bud.TV out. Reserving judgement for the moment on the quality of the video, I can say the functionality is suspect. For me the site registration was a breeze, but the actual navigation of available videos is awkward at best. I now understand what Hollis is saying about lack of discovery.