History Channel eyes younger audience with digital switch

History Channel broadcaster AETN will spend almost a third of its entire marketing budget on digital activity to promote itself among younger audiences.

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The broadcaster aims to significantly ramp up its mobile offering after its StreetMuseum app, devised with the Museum of London, generated nearly 20,000 downloads.

AETN marketing manager, Kiera Doherty, says the company, which also broadcasts the Military Channel, will invest almost a third of its marketing budget on digital to finance similar apps “to take the brand out of the living room”.

She said AETN plans to bolster activity on Foursquare, where it has garnered over 220,000 followers – 90,000 new additions since February.

The broadcaster’s History Channel badge on FourSquare flags nearby buildings of historical interest when a user checks in at over 600 locations around London.

AETN plans to launch similar Foursquare badges in both Poland and South Africa in the near future, according to Doherty. “We’re looking to give our [younger] target audience an immersive experience and challenge the idea that history is boring,” she said.

Doherty added that the aim of diverting spend from offline channels to online was to focus on digital content with teachers who could promote the apps among students.

AETN worked with marketing agency Brothers and Sisters to launch its Streetmuseum Londinium app, which uses augmented reality technology to recreate Roman Britain on their smartphones.

Kevin Brown, digital director for Brothers and Sisters, said, “We were working with a limited budget and wanted to have something that could really go viral. We’re pretty pleased with the number of downloads [nearly 20,000] to date.”

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