With BI Films, Business Insider ventures into longform video
On July 28, the business news site launched “League of Millions,” a documentary series centering on e-sports gamers Team Liquid as it pursue the annual “League of Legends” world championship. It’s Business Insider’s first longform video project. The premiere also coincides with the launch of Tech Insider, a new vertical covering tech and culture, and BI Films, a new division focused on developing, producing and distributing longform documentary programming.
“There is this growing trend of consumers’ increasing comfort with watching longer form [content] on phones and other mobile devices,” said Julie Hansen, president and COO of Business Insider. BI Films, headed up by former Hearst and Yahoo executive Diane Galligan, will be dedicated to producing such content. It has six total employees, hired as part of an aggressive push by Business Insider across its entire video department. Since January, the company has grown from 14 to 31 video employees.
With BI Films still in its infancy and its first project only a few weeks old, Hansen is cautious about the company’s immediate path forward in longform. Right now, “League of Millions” is airing on a custom player on Tech Insider as well as through YouTube. This will be the model for future projects, too, as BI Films bulks up its library — and nurtures an audience for video on Business Insider sites — before thinking about “distribution and redistribution,” said Hansen. “It doesn’t really matter if you create great work if no one is interested in it. If we are able to produce great work and are able to commercialise it in some way, then we are going to go nuts and do what we can.”
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