Videos on both networks, including editorial videos and commercial branded content, are produced originally. Copa90 and KICK house a specialized documentary unit, creatives who make bespoke content tailored to the news cycle, as well as social strategists, some of whom focus squarely on Snapchat distribution.
“Our views went from 40% on mobile in 2014 to just over 60% today,” Whittow-Williams said. “With Copa90, we’re launching our first dot-com experience in a couple of weeks, but I think the future is about creating tailored experiences on mobile. As we continue to grow, we know our mobile strategy will be most important.”
KICK does not sell pre-roll video ads against its own site content presently, but instead brings brands like Hyundai, Adidas and HTC to the table by integrating those sponsors into originally produced content on KICK and Copa90.
HTC specifically supplemented its sponsorship of the European Football Association’s Champions League with a branded video integration on Copa90.
The company embedded its new HTC One phone with one of Copa90’s influencers, the Euro Fan, as he went on a series of adventures with football fans on game day.
The video drove 11 million impressions, helped acquire 970,000 new YouTube fans and reached an average view time of six minutes.
“We were always about creating narratives,” said Whittow-Williams, noting Copa90’s and KICK’s historical roots in web film production under a parent company. “Traditional sports sponsorships required you to put an advert on at halftime or sponsor the injury clock on TV. Now we’re speaking in a consistent, relevant way with brands.”
As with other early YouTube multichannel networks, KICK constantly weighs which multiplatform opportunities will be most beneficial to brands and fans.
While KICK has an owned-and-operated site, social extensions are equally important.
“We want to be complementary to the platforms we’re on,” Whittow-Williams added. “If I’m flicking through mobile on Facebook, the video should work without audio, whereas something on YouTube will be lean-back or work for more long-form content.”