Weather Films, its new high-quality online video platform, will house short documentary films between 3 and 7 minutes in length highlighting climate, conservation and other weather-related human interest issues. The first series to premiere is “Brink” (see video below), which highlights the plights of six eco-warriers looking to save species and habitats before they become extinct.
The Weather Company has also partnered with Telegraph Media Group to broadcast Weather Films on Telegraph TV, while programming will be distributed by Unruly Media across the globe in order to increase its reach.
The channel has secured a major “well known brand” sponsor and it will also be monetised through further pre-roll advertising.
Patrick Vogt, president of The Weather Company International, says Weather Films represents a “paradigm change” for the company, which will make consumers think of the brand as more than just a TV proposition in the US – even though its apps have already achieved 120 million downloads.
He adds: “I think [Weather Films] will change consumer behaviour. When they’re waiting in the queue in the cafe, they can watch a 3 minute episode of Brink…I don’t think you’ve had content of this quality in this 3 to 5 minute segment [before], it’s very powerful”.
The Weather Company International is targeting “hundreds of millions” of unique visitors in Weather Films’ first year and raised levels of consumer awareness around the climate and conservation issues the films highlight.
The online channel could also be used as an “incubator” for TV long-form creative on its channels across the world, with the most popular short-form videos being turned into longer films, Vogt says.
Vogt became president of The Weather Company’s international division last year and has been tasked with growing the reach of its brands – which includes The Weather Channel app and the technology that powers Google and Yahoo’s weather offerings – outside of the US.
The UK has been pinpointed as a key strategic market for growth, given the nation’s interest in the weather, smartphone proliferation and GDP.
As a result, the size of The Weather Company’s UK team has “tripled” in the last six months, with the hiring spree including marketers as well as operations and sales staff.