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EBC News' Strategy for Getting Viewers to Watch Through the Ads

EBC's Video Strategy

Goal

Create a new stream of revenue through ad breaks on compelling videos.

Strategy

Create 3 minute videos by editing together news broadcasts and UGC.

Results

Ad impressions increased 105% since Nov. 2018 with no drop off in engagement.

The Eastern Broadcasting Company (EBC) earns about 20 million views on their Facebook videos every day. To directly monetize these videos, they insert ad breaks for any video over 3 minutes. As a result, they have opened up a new revenue stream without any drop off in engagement. Here’s how they’ve done it.

EBC’s Story

EBC is one of the leading television broadcasters in Taiwan. Based out of Taipei, EBC operates multiple channels across general news, financial news, EBC America, EBC Global, and more. They provide the latest national and international news to Taiwan through their television broadcast and their 20+ Facebook pages. Through this multi-channel approach and a strong digital strategy, EBC has been able to expand their digital audience and further engage their TV audiences with digital video.

“EBC News’ mission is to ‘listen to your voice and tell your story.’ We focus on producing stories about caring for your community, assisting the weak and providing positive energy.” — Shen Chien-hung, Executive Director

Go behind-the-scenes in the EBC newsroom with this one-minute video:

EBC’s Goal

EBC uses their televised content and user-generated-content (UGC) to upload about 95 videos a day with ad breaks across its 12 pages. They wanted a way to monetize that digital content through ads, without losing their robust viewership and engagement numbers.

“Before ad breaks were launched, EBC News did not have a stable video monetization model on the Facebook platform. After ad breaks rolled out and we started using them, the profits generated from our video content has provided us with momentum and revenue to invest more heavily in digital content.” — Shen Chien-hung, Executive Director of EBC News.

EBC’s Strategy

According to EBC, to get a user to watch a 3-minute video with ad breaks, the video has to feature high-quality and authentic content with a very strong first minute. Their videos largely come from broadcast clips and user-generated-content, edited and packaged together to create compelling stories that resonate with their audience.

Here are their five buckets of video content that they produce with ad breaks and have found keep viewers engaged:

  1. Content about identity
    This content connects with a viewer’s personal identity.
  2. How-to videos
    EBC has found that financial how-to videos providing useful financial and investing knowledge for viewers perform especially well. These videos have one host who introduces complicated financial topics in an easy and helpful way. These videos are extremely retentive, EBC has found, and are among the most likely to get viewers to watch a full 3 minutes.
  3. In-depth stories
    This bucket focuses on in-depth coverage of a single subject through a strong narrative. It sounds obvious, but EBC says that videos with a strong beginning, middle and end keep viewers engaged all the way through.
  4. Five-minute videos
    According to EBC, five minutes is the ideal length to monetize a digital video. They say that when the ad appears between 1-2 minutes, users are more likely to keep watching the whole thing.
  5. User-generated content (UGC)
    The EBC News digital team produces and edits UGC videos into more complete stories to publish on their Facebook page. They often surface users’ content about the Taiwanese community and help people understand more about Taiwan tradition. Editing these videos in a creative way to tell a full story helps the station bring in an engaged audience and more revenue.

“Publishers must constantly adjust video length and content to match the best experience of the platform. In order to achieve such a goal, digital journalists who are good at telling stories and social media editors who understand the rules of the platform are indispensable. They need to work with each other to build an effective video strategy.” — Shen Chien-hung, Executive Director

We are highly positive towards ad breaks. It creates a win-win-win situation between users, Facebook, and video publishers such as ourselves.
Shen Chien-hung Executive Director EBC
EBC’s Results*

Since implementing this strategy across their digital videos, EBC has seen the following results:

Before inserting ad breaks, EBC’s biggest worry was that they’d see a drop off in viewers and engagement. Not only has that not happened, but views have increased and more people are watching through their ads than before.

They’ve also discovered that their longer content, especially videos around 5 minutes, are working particularly well in keeping viewers engaged through the ads. Some of EBC’s most meaningful and moving videos have produced the most revenue for them – showing that great stories work in driving revenue for them on Facebook. A few of their top performing videos include:

The heartwarming story about a 106 year old man who sells buns on street to support his son in the hospital.

The story of an NGO that helps provide showers to senior citizens who live in rural areas.

User-generated content that showcase the Taiwanese community and their traditions:
https://www.facebook.com/ebcmoney/posts/2189372777944581/
https://www.facebook.com/news.ebc/posts/394371521383666/

“We are highly positive towards ad breaks. It creates a win-win-win situation between users, Facebook, and video publishers such as ourselves.” — Shen Chien-hung, Executive Director

*All results were provided by the news publisher

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