Condé Nast Entertainment launched its first sports video channel yesterday with the debut of the Golf Digest Channel. According to Molly Baldwin, Director of Editorial Operations for GolfDigest.com, “We see a really big future in video—particularly when it comes to instruction,” which is something the brand has long focused on.
While Baldwin is enthusiastic about the opportunities to create more effective learning moments for the Golf Digest audience, she believes that video gives the brand ways to deepen audience relationships as well. “The fact that instruction works well in video is very natural for our brand, but any brand would be remiss to think they could only rely on print. Every brand has to evolve and go to where audiences are, which is increasingly in front of a screen.”
Not only does Golf Digest find itself with content that effectively transitions from the page to video—such as the “Hungover Caddie” column, which will become an animated series—Baldwin says they’ve got a wealth of talent that already shine on video. Among these is Ben Crane, who Baldwin describes as “a comedic genius… in addition to being on the PGA tour,” who will host #GolfSecrets with Ben Crane. This increased emphasis on video content will also afford Golf Digest a means to further develop its editorial staff on screen.
Unsurprisingly, Baldwin says “There’s been a wealth of demand for video advertising,” which is certainly a driving force behind Condé Nast Entertainment’s continued expansion in video offerings. This is its ninth digital video channel since its 2011 launch and the second this year. The Golf Digest channel launched with Callaway as its sponsor, leveraging pre-roll and in-stream video overlays. And Baldwin says that they’ve already had “great interest from both endemic and non-endemic brands” and have had early discussions around product placement and custom content. “This is a space advertisers want to play in.”
“It is still early days for this play in digital video and we are eager to learn from our audiences what they want and what works. That’s the great value digital brings,” says Baldwin, “we get immediate feedback and we can continue to learn and experiment.”