We all knew this moment would come. It's been waiting to occur for the last two or so years.
Bud.TV is dead.
When Bud.tv launched during the Super Bowl in 2007, it was hyped up by executives to be the second coming of brand sites. New video content would be produced on a regular basis, viewers would come to the site and be offered everything from free games to shows (and also have a chance to register, give their information over to Bud and - of course - watch any hilarious Bud or Bud Light TV spot from the last few years).
The original goals of Bud were to have 2 million site visits a month. But, as AdAge reports, in the second month of the site's launch, traffic had reduced to just over 150,000 unique visits. Things wouldn't get better either.
For the last year and a half, the site has struggled to retain and attract new visitors. It became a place without a purpose - filled with OK content but no reason to return. After all, if users wanted to watch something funny and new, why not check out Joost, CurrentTV or YouTube?
In the end, a brand learned an expensive, $15 million dollar lession - that sites that are dedicated to creating content, or aggregating it, will always win over brand plays that don't necessary offer content that a user can get anywhere else.
Ever been in a meeting where someone suggests that the best digital idea for a brand is to aggregate a certain type of content (news, sports, business tips, etc) and provide a user with one, simple place to find and view tips? Hint: it already exists. It's called Google. Or LinkedIn. Or Facebook. Or Twitter.
What I do give Bud props for was that they wern't afraid to try something - even if it was expensive. They led the way for original content creators and brands are following but have learned from their experience. Content is still king, however some would argue that the conversation is quickly becoming the new leader (and emotional messages might trump them both).
Just remember, the next time your client or boss suggests a content portal with original video, audio and stories on a budget 1/100th the size of Bud's, flip him a link to Bud.TV and let him know what the site might look like 2 years after launch.