reels ‘em in

Alliance Atlantis discovers that Canadians really do want to host their own live video blogs., the Canada-only live blogging site on which subscribers can host their own web/TV shows, is proving to be a big hit. The site, which was launched by Alliance Atlantis and GS New Media in March, posted 411,000 unique visitors that month, and more than doubled the number in April.

‘There’s an enormous demand,’ Claude Galipeau, Alliance Atlantis’ senior VP of digital media, tells MiC. ‘On March 4 we had 480 subscribers; now we’re approaching 45,000.’ To get there, Galipeau and co. used their angling skills.

‘We had to get the traffic, so we went fishing where the fish are,’ added Galipeau. ‘At the moment, the Canadian fish are on the US social media services. So we bought display ads in the Google network, which included Plenty of Fish and YouTube, as well as Yahoo and Facebook, and we reeled them in. The conversion rate on the Google buy was 2.4%, which is very high.’

According to Galipeau, the key to‘s success is what some thought might sink it – its Canada-only status. ‘The two things that distinguish it are that it’s live and that it’s Canadian,’ he said. ‘And the Canadian aspect has turned out to be quite valuable, because people are very Canada-proud. Our challenge was how to compete with well-capitalized and well-marketed American sites. I think we found a solution: be Canadian, be proud of it and tell Canadians we have something unique that they can use.’