Audi drops Sky TV channel to focus on video content site

Audi has axed its Sky TV channel to focus exclusively on distributing video content online.


The car manufacturer has scrapped the four-year-old broadcast channel, estimated to cost it £250,000 a year before production costs, in favour of distributing its content on the web.

Audi plans to increase the amount of video content it produces for its Audi TV site and social media sites, managed by creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Hugh Fletcher, national digital manager for Audi, denied the move was because the Sky channel wasn’t effective, saying the company simply views online as providing greater opportunity than TV for generating audience engagement.

“We reviewed the Audi channel and decided that it was better to do an on-demand web channel instead of the Sky channel,” he said. “We’ll start uploading more digital assets onto the Audi TV website and look at using social media to get it distributed.”

Nigel Walley, MD of Decipher Consultancy, said Audi would make massive cost-savings from dropping the outdated distribution channel.

“It was an old-fashioned model set up at a time when distribution was changing,” he said. “It was also very unclear if it was a marketing or entertainment proposition.”

He added Audi should tie its online channel closely with its integrated marketing campaigns to drive traffic.

Jonny Freeman, digital marketing manager at Honda, said Audi’s move exemplified why online was a cost-effective channel. “Brands have to spend where they know it’ll be effective,” he said. “As consumers seek content online, it’s unsurprising to see decisions that reflect this.”

Last week rival car manufacturer Mercedes Benz revealed it will spend 50% of its budget online.

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