Scott Fedonchik is the VP of Marketing at Business Wire. He recently chatted with Communications Week about the success of BizWireTV, a video series that turns highly viewed and shared press releases into video news content.
1. Most communication/business professionals are aware of Business Wire. What is BizWireTV, and when did it launch?
We launched BizWireTV last October and have been extremely pleased with its growth over the past year. Our program turns highly viewed and shared press releases into video news content focused on startups, industry disruptors, hot product launches and hidden gems that cross Business Wire. We started the program as a web-only video series and have now expanded across all screens with mobile video apps on iPhone and Android devices, a channel on Apple TV and will soon launch on Roku and Amazon Fire. We are creating and sharing video news everywhere consumers are, and we’re seeing great growth in engagement with this trending business news content.
2. How many viewers does BizWireTV have, and what kind of audience does it attract?
BizWireTV has had over 5 million views since the launch and we see an average of 75,000 views a week between our two shows. These views come directly from our website, social media platforms, apps and our Apple TV channel.
The viewership audience is split pretty evenly between men and women and the average age is 32 years old. According to Google Analytics, they are young media professionals with an interest in breaking news, financial services, entertainment, economic news, technology and travel. We think it’s a pretty attractive demographic for marketers.
3. It’s been about one year since BizWireTV launched. How has it been received?
From a client perspective, they simply love having their news featured on the show. We base the story mix on what we see trending on social media and through release views, so BizWireTV acts as an amplifier for interesting business news stories. We focus on innovators, start-ups, hot new products and stories that are impacting pop culture, which we track through our social media monitors that are measuring a news release’s impact in real time. From a viewership perspective, we have seen solid growth in numbers and expect that to continue as we launch new channels of distribution.
4. How has BizWireTV progressed since its launch?
The show’s production and scripting has sharpened since its launch. We have gotten better at accessing and measuring the viral nature of our wire content to focus in on the stories that are gaining the most attention across social media platforms. We respect our viewer’s time and strive to deliver a great deal of value for business news consumers in our show. There is no waste or fluff in the program. It is true business news served up in a tight and concise package meant to provide busy professionals with information they need related to important business stories. Beyond that, the largest area of progress has been in expanding BizWireTV access points across desktop, mobile, streaming television and social media platforms.
5. How do organizations benefit from utilizing BizWireTV for their news announcements?
The editorial nature of the program provides the brands covered with a great piece of news coverage, beyond their benefits they receive from their Business Wire news distribution. We have covered nearly 1,000 company news stories on BizWireTV since launch and each of those brands receive added value exposure through episode news releases, downstream media placements, desktop and mobile viewership, and social media promotion for each show.
We recently launched Branded Content opportunities for select clients where they can now get guaranteed exposure of their news in the show through Sponsored Headlines Placements, Episode Sponsorship, Branded Video News Stories and Custom Client Episodes.
6. What are some of the top disruptive stories that have appeared on BizWireTV?
The biggest new stories we have covered to date have been the massive launch of Pokémon Go and the recent Apple launches, both of which broke on Business Wire as news releases. These stories received incredible social media engagement that we were able to measure and report on in real-time. That is the beauty of being the news issuer who also has access to the metrics behind the news. We get to see what’s happening with news globally, and then can report on it in BizWireTV with insights that others can’t bring to a story.
7. What kind of stories receive the most engagement?
We are seeing a lot of activity with startups and disruptors in the Smart Home, Drone, AI, Wearables, Autonomous Vehicles and Virtual Reality space. Personal Finance, Entertainment, and Video Games have also been really hot from a viewership standpoint. These are the types of stories with strong interest from consumers and regularly make it into our BizWireTV programming.
8. What was the impetus behind creating snackable pieces of content for viewers?
We wanted to create news content that was quick, insightful and sharable. Our news stories tend to be about 45 seconds long and broken up in short packages. We’ve taken cues from BuzzFeed, Business Insider and TechCrunch which have really driven this kind of snackable video viewership. We think it works well in the online video marketplace where consumers are switching between platforms all day long. This means you have to catch them with high-value content that can be digested quickly throughout the day.
9. You recently launched a mobile app for BizWireTV. How has that been received?
These are recent launches and we are starting to see some solid adoption on mobile and tablet platforms. The app marketplace is a crowded field, so app promotion is a critical component in driving usage. We recently rolled out some new mobile advertising on key business sites, Facebook and Twitter to grow our app audiences. These are beginning to show some positive results and we are looking to grow this marketing channel for BizWireTV and Business Wire.