In an increasingly competitive sports media landscape, rights holders and content owners need to do much more than simply produce output and send it into the ether if they want to build long-term relationships with fans and leverage the full potential of their over-the-top (OTT) services.
With the growth of amateur publishers on one side and huge media giants like Netflix and Facebook on the other, those in the middle have to understand fans and their consumption habits if they are to survive and flourish. It is about ensuring the right content is available for multiple platforms in real time and defining the correct digital strategy, using the data available.
A data-driven approach includes user insights to enhance the platform and improve personalisation, as well as competition data to enhance the fan experience. All three aspects help foster the direct-to-fan relationship and user insights in particular are key to making informed decisions regarding monetisation.
Insights into what content works best, engagement rates and success of pay-per-view content all help rights holders make key editorial decisions. Then it is about continuously testing, adapting and improving both content and strategy based on how their audiences respond.
When it comes to monetisation strategies, they should all be underpinned by data but every rights holder will have a different approach to revenue generation based on their audience, content type and target goals.
The key point is balance. Using a combination of different revenue streams, from advertising and sponsorship through to subscriptions and indirect options, organisations can scale their product with data, opening doors to enhance their offering, giving sponsors new ways to activate their sponsorships digitally or giving advertising partners the ability to innovate and experiment with personalised or relevant offers.
Many of the smartest rights holders also realise that it is not about squeezing customers for every penny they have through subscriptions, instead using OTT to foster engagement or promote other areas of their own businesses, like ticketing or merchandising.
A great example of this is from our clients Borussia Dortmund and their BVB Quiz Taxi feature, which saw players take part in quizzes en route to training in a car supplied by club sponsor Opel.
This was provided free, via the Sportradar-powered BVB-TV platform, and offered fans engaging, behind-the-scenes content with some of the club’s star names, and was even fitted neatly into the clubs’ preseason schedule thereby eliminating timing and scheduling issues – which are so often a frustration for athletes when asked to participate in filming or marketing initiatives.
While other rights holders may be under more pressure to bring in revenue quickly and regularly via OTT, it is a great example of how different revenue streams can be incorporated into monetisation strategies.
The very best OTT platforms are optimised to produce the best return on investment by using fan insights, thereby benefiting content owners, audiences and associated sponsors or partners.
Data has the ability to unlock that potential, allowing rights holders to continuously analyse and optimise their various revenue streams and adjust accordingly. Rather than trying to second guess what your audience might want to consume, editors have hard evidence to go on, thereby cutting costs and improving efficiency.
In a modern media landscape packed with video and free content, and with the sports media sector always competing with other forms of entertainment, data is what can provide the key ingredient for any monetisation formula.
Download Sportradar’s whitepaper, the Monetisation of Data and OTT, for insight into how data can fuel monetisation opportunities for rights holders, including comment and analysis from some of the sports media industry’s leading figures and organisations.