Fast Company published its 50 most innovative companies, and there’s an intriguing entry in its top 10 media companies. Coming in at No. 2 is… Red Bull. Yes, the “It gives you wings” energy drink ranks ahead of the New York Times as an innovative media company. Weird, no? Well, not really. Red Bull is the quintessential brand as publisher. It churns out all sorts of video for its young audience. As Fast Company notes, last year, Austria-based Red Bull made films and created an NBC show called “Red Bull Signature Series.” It also joined forces with YouTube to make original content and brought its magazine “Red Bulletin” (global distribution: 4.8 million) to the United States.
For being a consumer products company that’s embraced media production like no one else. The Austria-based energy drink giant, which has been producing action sports and lifestyle programs for more than 20 years to bolster its brand, decided to transform its content business into its own company, when it launched Red Bull Media House (in Europe in 2007 and in the U.S. last year). The goal is to create a revenue-generating media business parallel to Red Bull’s beverage business. Red Bull’s media projects yield material for DVD, online, and TV, befitting the company’s new mold of creating content wherever followers of the Red Bull lifestyle may be. Beyond action sports, Red Bull Media House is moving into a wider definition of what kind of programming would be of interest to its potential audience, such as Bouncing Cats, a sensitive documentary about the power of hip-hop to improve the lives of Ugandan children