We were quick to report on Anheuser-Busch's plan to launch Bud.TV back in September of 2006
. However, like all good things they must come to an end. After two years Bud.TV has run dry and Anheuser-Busch pulled the tap from its live and on-demand programming network. As of last Wednesday a message informs visitors that the site has closed and directs people to Budweiser.com and Budlight.com.
Bud.TV went live in January 2007 after much fanfare following the 2007 Super Bowl to target younger, drinking-age men. The site featured 24-hour live and on-demand programing content, such as Webisodes, sporting events, consumer generated content, field reports, celebrity interviews, music downloads and comedians. Although the average visitor spent seven minutes each time logged in the website had seen a dramatic drop in traffic.
Anheuser-Busch spent $15 million getting the site up and running in the hopes of attracting upwards of 2 million visitors each month. However, by the end of the second month there were only 153,000 unique visitors, according to news reports. While Michael Levy, vice president of marketing wouldn't discuss Web traffic, he said, “Traffic fell well short of our expectations. Anytime you do something like that in an entrepreneurial way it involves some risk.”
Overall it was a learning experience for Anheuser-Busch and it would appear they have learned from the mistakes of Bud.TV. Michael Levy did acknowledge consumers want to share content, not just view it and that Anheuser-Busch was too conservative with its branding.
What can we expect next from Anheuser-Busch you might ask? “We’re not cutting back, we’re just re-purposing what we are doing,” he said. “We are going to spend more time on places people are already going. We realized that it’s not necessary to have your own standalone network. You can do things with partners and still have a strong presence,” Levy commented.