Bangkok Broadcast & TV Channel 7 (BBTV Ch7) is the country’s leading television broadcaster. It holds a dominant share of the news and entertainment market, and with almost 50 years on air, the company has unparalleled brand recognition in the country. It began expanding into digital 10 years ago by leveraging clips from television shows for its multiple digital properties and recently gained another competitive edge with the introduction of Instant Articles.
In April 2016, the launch of Instant Articles offered BBTV two new ways to expand its digital presence — through speedy mobile video and longer written content. Videos load nearly instantly in Instant Articles, even for those on a 2G network, making the quick conversion of TV broadcast clips into digital news more viable than ever. Meanwhile, using Audience Network to sell ads opened the door to earning revenue through written content. Until that point, 100% of BBTV’s online revenue came from pre-roll video ads on its website. Instant Articles enabled this broadcasting giant to become a successful article publisher overnight by pushing written content without any extra investment in design, sales or web development.
For all BBTV’s success in television and digital, one area they had yet to explore was producing online content outside of video clips. When Instant Articles launched, it provided the broadcast giant a simple and easy entry point to create and publish written content. Instant Articles offered a fast, immersive reading experience out-of-the-box without any extra investments needed. With a simple change in focus to make 10% of its online content as written news items, BBTV leveraged the clean, easy-to-use design of Instant Articles to quickly deliver a quality product to its readers.
While BBTV has a deep catalogue of previously aired video content, it began pushing more breaking news coverage from TV broadcasts directly to online in short segments aimed at the Facebook mobile audience eager for up-to-the-minute, accurate information. Utilizing the speeds of the native video player built into Instant Articles became an obvious way to drive traffic and engagement with its broadcasts. The company saw a 250% increase in reach per video-only Instant Articles month on month. After seeing readers engage more with the native video feature, BBTV will begin to experiment with online-only clips as well as other interactive features unique to Instant Articles.
BBTV’s digital team started small with Instant Articles. They were initially selective, only using a few interesting news items to try in this new format. Right away readers loved the increased loading speed and look and feel of the articles so BBTV decided to push 80% of all their content as Instant Articles as a result. The numbers skyrocketed, showing a 200% increase in clicks on Facebook links month on month.
BBTV already had a robust and sophisticated sales strategy built around using pre-roll video ads. That worked great for video content across their digital properties, but Instant Articles provided an entirely new opportunity for monetization through Audience Network. By signing up for Audience Network and tapping into demand from over three million advertisers on Facebook, BBTV created a new revenue stream with the click of a button. The company immediately had the sales force of Facebook, with Audience Network’s more than 3 million advertisers, working to leverage its newly created written content. Audience Network inserts targeted, native ads that load quickly, leading to better integration with Instant Articles. As a result, BBTV saw a 100% increase in revenue from Audience Network between April and July, ensure that the company plans to focus even more on this part of its growing digital footprint.
Tracking numbers between early April to the end of July, BBTV saw improvements across the board for both traffic and revenue.
“Facebook is by far the number one social media platform in Thailand, and we want to make sure our audience has the best user experience with our content so that they will keep coming back. We want to be better and faster than other news organizations whose audience has to read stories with slower load times. We chose Instant Articles because its superior user experience gives us the competitive edge.”
Chakrapun Leelamasavat, Managing Director, BBTV New Media