A group of innovation-focused EBU Members sought inspiration outside the public service media sector this week, with a visit to Salzburg-based Red Bull Media House. The visit, part of the EBU's strategic programme on Implementing Open Innovation (IOI), was an opportunity to explore how the energy drink company evolved to become a global media player. In 2016, Red Bull was the most shared video brand on social media, with 74 billion contacts.
The company's Chief Innovation Officer, Andreas Gall, switched to the role as part of a recent reorganization, having served as CTO for the previous ten years. (In 2006 he moved to RBMH from the Austrian public broadcaster ORF, where he had been Technical Director.) His innovation office has a clear brief, encapsulated in a three-stage process for identifying new ideas, prototyping and piloting them, and passing them to a Business Unit for implementation. With a tight focus on Generation Z, innovation is seen as crucial to ensuring the future of the brand.
Innovative media products
IOI participants learned how the company's 2017 reorganization has streamlined operations to make more space for innovation. One particularly inspiring example presented was a project to build the relatively niche sport of beach volleyball into a media product, using technology innovations to support the storytelling. Other topics covered included the company's insights into Gen-Z, their exploration of how best to produce VR content, and an overview of their asset management and playout infrastructure.
Nineteen different EBU Members were represented on the visit, including technical leaders, digital strategists and innovation managers. The EBU IOI programme aims to capture and disseminate information about successful innovation strategies and their implementation. It also provides a platform for EBU Members to meet and exchange around the topic of innovation.
EBU Members can download a summary report of the visit to RMBH, along with other related resources, from the IOI workspace.