BrewDog makes 'genuine move' into streaming with Netflix-style originals service

A sample of BrewDog's available shows

BrewDog is betting big on content. The Scottish craft beer company has announced its intent to launch a subscription video on demand service –The BrewDog Network – that will feature a slew of beer and culinary-themed shows, game shows and documentaries.

The company is looking to tap into the US market with the push, at a cost of $4.99 per month for consumers. Company founders Martin Dickie and James Watt said they will cherry-pick the shows on the service.

This isn't BrewDog’s first push into original programming.

In 2013, it ran three seasons of a show called BrewDogs on the Esquire network. In it, the founders were “on a quest for nationwide craft beer enlightenment in America”. This saw them brew beer in odd places like a train, a boat, a parade and on top of a mountain. They also utilised interesting ingredients like caffeine, chilli and smoked meat.

Now five years later, Watt and Dickie have reflected on the lasting impact of the show.

“After our previous TV show, Brew Dogs, got cancelled, we didn’t want to sit around in our underpants, crying into a tub of ice cream.

“So, we decided the only thing to do would be to build our own TV network. This is a genuine move to take the video-on-demand revolution to a new level. Driven by true passion and enthusiasm, we are doing exactly what we did with craft beer; raising standards and eyebrows in equal measure.”

At launch the BrewDog Network will feature more than 14 original series and some on-brand shows like Brown Bag Wine Tasting with William Shatner. At launch, there will be more than 100 hours of content, including the return of the founders’ Brew Dogs show.

To give a taste of what Netflix is putting out, there is ‘Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person?’ which takes the ‘Are You Smarter Than a Ten-Year-Old’ format and replaces children with drunks. Burgers and Beers is fairly self-explanatory, as is Craft Beer Adventure Club and Business for Punks.

The brand issued a teaser on a website called Beer.porn. All of the shows were hosted on this PornHub-like platform although now the link now redirects to a safer for work platform, possibly after concerns were issued on Twitter.

The service is only available online but will soon be accessible on a bespoke app available on Android and iOS.

Although many brands have made a push into original programming as a means of telling their brand story, few have deemed that they have the passionate fanbase, to create a niche streaming service.

In fact, many broadcasters are still to properly embrace streaming, never mind brands.

However, as a firm with more than 50,000 public investors, BrewDog may feel it has a wealth of punks keen to lap up whatever programming it puts out. It will look to lean on its brand equity and a fanaticism around its output to drive hype around its shows, and of course its core product: the beer.

The company is offering a week-long free trial to people who want to sample its new video service.

Roni Cohen, director of data science from customer relationship experts Optimove, said: "The subscription model is the holy grail for many companies: repeat, predictable business and a long-term relationship with customers. But it’s a tough model to crack. 80% of customers cancel new subscriptions within the first three months.

“It’s important to consider the difference between a transactional relationship, where the main focus is securing the next sale, and a subscription model, where the focus is to prevent subscription cancellation. In both cases, delivering value to the customer throughout the relationship is the key to customer loyalty and retention. As BrewDog ventures into original programming, its success will depend on its ability to provide ongoing value to subscribers each month.

“It has been noted that BrewDog are only setting out with 100 hours of content, but it doesn’t necessarily matter how much they have, but more how they tailor it to individual subscribers in a way which resonates. It’s about making sure the marketer has a deep, thorough understanding of the subscriber, their behavioural traits and what they value, and leverage this data to serve up content which they love.”

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