Last week’s negative review by Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV during a session with analysts raised expectations that the brewery was ready to pull the plug on money-sink Bud.tv. ($15 million and counting.) Not gonna happen. Instead, the site will be overhauled with the help, according to the WSJ, of its own employees ages 21-26. They’ve been going to focus groups for the last few weeks and the result will be an edgier site, Tony Ponturo, VP-global media and sports marketing, told the Journal. Ponturo: “It’s clear to us that the consumer wants more interaction, more conversion and more of a social community.” One result: a switch in video philosophy. Bud.tv will produce shorter videos instead of the six-minute shows and will import content from other sites rather than rely only on original programming.
But one of the biggest impediments to the site appears to be sticking around — the cumbersome age-verification system. Perhaps the idea is people will be so interested in the content (the new goal “is to become an aggregator of cool information for beer drinkers”) they won’t care how long it takes to register.