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Case study: How NBC affiliate, KOBI-TV, found success with SmartVideo

Even if you are not a TV station website, this post contains lessons important to all businesses!

KOBI-TV is an NBC affiliate serving viewers in 12 counties in Southern Oregon and Northern California. For several years, their video publishing routine consisted of uploading their local news videos to YouTube and then embedding those videos on their website, Kobi5.com. They used YouTube because it was simple and helped keep costs down.

The problem

However, management became frustrated with the number of Kobi5.com visitors being pulled away to YouTube while watching videos on their site. They realized this was due to the large amount of unprofessional clutter, distractions, logos, watermarks, competitor ads/related videos, and overlays linking back to YouTube. Furthermore, KOBI-TV was earning a paltry amount per month with YouTube ads. This was unacceptable given their videos were being viewed hundreds of thousands of times each month on Kobi5.com alone. KOBI-TV’s General Manager decided it was time for a change.

The search

In October of 2017, KOBI-TV’s GM tasked the web team, led by Jacob Dean, with searching for a solution that would give the company much more control over Kobi5.com's playback experience, along with the ability to generate significantly more ad revenue by controlling their own advertising.

Mr. Dean researched many vendors from JWPlayer to Brightcove to Vzaar, but a common theme kept surfacing:

"We've never had a video host before, so there was no way to truly determine how much the confusing player, bandwidth, encoding, storage, and overage penalty variables would end up costing each month. By my estimation, these solutions would add up to way more than we were willing to spend."

The solution

The team at KOBI-TV discovered SmartVideo by Swarmify during their vendor selection search. Although initially surprised by and skeptical of the value proposition, the ease of trying out the solution with minimal IT time and commitment convinced them to give SmartVideo a try.

"I'm loving Swarmify right now! I couldn't believe how easy it was to copy/paste your SmartVideo Javascript into my site's header one time and watch it take care of everything without my intervention. All of our YouTube embeds on Kobi5.com were swapped out, and [SmartVideo] automated all of the moving parts like fetching our 5000+ video files from YouTube, processing those files and placing them on your global delivery network. SmartVideo then displayed them all back on Kobi5.com in a fast loading player without all the clutter, distractions, and stall-outs during playback. We even added in our VAST ad network URL's and are now back on track to earning significantly more ad revenue. Our publishing workflow has stayed the same, and the entire process has saved me a massive amount of hours since I don't need to sit around and manage the solution."

SmartVideo is perfect for publishers

SmartVideo allows publishers to maintain their existing workflows and keep distributing content on YouTube. No one at your company has to change the way they work or interact with your content management system. You can continue to syndicate your content out to YouTube and receive the benefits the platform provides (such as discoverability and traffic back to your website) while upgrading to a more controlled, streamlined playback experience for video being watched on your own website.

Taking control of your video advertising has significant benefits. KOBI-TV was able to 4X their earning per thousand video views. With their audience, this increase in revenue turned their digital video department into a revenue-generating division of the business.

Swarmify has aligned the cost of video with the revenue model publishers are used to. Pricing is all inclusive at $1 per thousand views and there are no extra charges for storage, encoding, or delivery. Moving to Swarmify delivered a 12X ROI for KOBI-TV in the first month alone, not including all of the IT hours saved over complex migrations required for other video solutions.