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Farm Journal Media

Viewer engagement rises 2.5x when Farm Journal Media leverages Limelight Video Delivery Services

Challenge:

Implementing a “Digital-First” strategy that capture audience attention across platforms and locations

Solution:

Leveraging an intuitive, easy-to-use online video platform

Leveraging online video to meet agricultural demand

Top agricultural producers who crave reliable, timely, in-depth information and ideas turn to Farm Journal Media (FJM), one of America’s most respected media brands to fill their needs. In 1877 it was easy for Farm Journal Media to dominate the market with their namesake print magazine, Farm Journal. Fast-forward to 2013 where being the market leader now means capturing attention through multiple agricultural websites, streaming TV, blogs, social media and other digital channels.

 

FJM’s audience may have their roots in corn, soy and wheat but they want their information digitally at any time of day, on any device and wherever they are – which is especially critical when they are in the field working. FJM has grown exponentially and developed an integrated multimedia strategy that leverages the power of an online video solution to make sure that makes sure that viewers around the country never miss the latest crop, weather or market reports. And, to tackle the challenge of delivering content even to the most remote rural viewers where bandwidth is limited, the video solution that FJM uses harnesses a global high-performance delivery network to reach each and everyone in their target audience – ensuring the best user experience regardless of bandwidth, device or location.

 

The proof is in the numbers. According to Experian Hitwise, FJM’s online properties generate 1.5 million visits per month with 400-500 unique visits. This accounts for approximately 53 percent of all traffic in the agricultural online magazine/ periodical space – making Farm Journal the clear go-to source and industry leader for farming and agricultural information.

Hyler Cooper’s Story: VP of Technology and Applications Development at Farm Journal Media

Hyler Cooper is VP of Technology and Applications Development at FJM. In his role, he is responsible for technology across the organization and for Agweb.com, its primary branded website.

 

Hyler’s passion is telling stories regardless of the medium. He began his career as a news photographer and next filmed video for broadcast television news before taking his storytelling to the Information Technology side of the media business.

“Whether it’s ink on paper or via broadcast TV, or now on the Internet, my passion is delivering information to make people’s lives at work and at home better.”

 

“We found that Limelight Orchestrate had the tools that we needed at the right price point to make it as easy as possible for our editorial team to get rich media agricultural news to our audiences.”

 

“The ROI has been huge. Viewing times for our half hour news shows are up to 15-18 minutes from 5-10 minutes and our full hour show on the weekends has viewers engaged for an average of 45 minutes.”

HYLER COOPER, Farm Journal Media

Hyler’s Challenge: Implementing a “Digital-First” strategy that capture audience attention across platforms and locations

FJM launched Agweb.com in 2000 right before the dot.com bubble burst. The online business hummed along at the same level as other agricultural sites until Hyler was brought in five years ago and given a directive from the CEO to make “Digital-First”.

 

The challenge facing Hyler and his team was how to drive an audience that had long relied on other means of traditional media to AgWeb.com.

 

“Digital-first” meant making the technology experience as easy as possible for FJM consumers who are, on average, nearly 60 year old and not the most digitally savvy. Content needed to be fresh, rich, dynamic and updated faster than what they could get offline and the viewing experience had to be superb.

 

Agweb.com’s previous off-the-shelf content management system and built in video solution wasn’t equipped to meet the challenge. Without streaming capabilities, bandwidth costs were high and without the right user experience, the goal of getting readers to the site first was a long shot.

Hyler’s Solution: Leveraging an intuitive, easy-to-use online video platform

Hyler knew that online video was one of the levers and considered numerous factors in selecting the right video solution that included:

Ease of Use

Hyler’s entire editorial team needed to be able to upload and manage content easily.

Device and Bandwidth Detection

Hyler needed a player that could detect and optimize content based on each viewer’s device and bandwidth speeds in order to ensure consistent high-quality experiences across devices and geographies.

Monetization Tools

Agweb.com needed to generate advertising revenue, which meant that Hyler needed a video solution with built-in tools for pre-roll advertising.

Cost

Top-line is important but so is bottom line. Hyler had to have a cost-effective solution in addition to all the tools he needed.

Scalability

Hyler needed a scalable solution that could grow as they added content to the AgWeb.com library and as the company expanded across digital platforms.

Farm Journal Media’s Limelight Solution: Limelight Orchestrate – putting Agweb.com head and shoulders above the competition

With Limelight as its trusted partner, Hyler’s team has been able to deliver “digital first”. FJM’s editors have an intuitive end-to-end video solution that lets them easily upload content and know that it will stream reliably in the right format to farmers across the nation.

 

Today, FJM posts one hour long show per week, a daily 30-minute show and as many as 5 or six shorter pieces daily plus several audiocasts to their websites. In total there are over 5,300 pieces of media in their Limelight Orchestrate managed library.

 

Because of the increasing amount of content available and the reliability of the viewing experience, viewership is increasing.

 

With Limelight, FJM has realized many business benefits:

 

-When editorial directors at FJM want to create content they can upload video and audio files with ease. The files are then automatically transformed into the appropriate format such as Flash, iOS, or Smooth Streaming.


-FJM can reach Farmers in hard to reach rural areas through content delivered to mobile devices using Limelight’s global high-performance delivery network and know that its content will be delivered without interruption whenever viewers want to watch.


-FJM has a scalable video publishing solution that helps the editorial team manage their growing library.


-Hyler’s team gets a solution that makes sure that video is delivered at the right speed in the right format to each Farmer wherever they are watching and on whatever device they are watching on.


-Limelight’s Orchestrate Suite gives FJM a cloud-delivered solution with no software installation or maintenance required.

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