Beyond Live: Building Better Video Distribution For a Changing Audience

Imagen survey of sports rights holders shows need for more flexible distribution of content plus opportunities for those who are first to satisfy a new generation of fans - hungry for more near-live and archive content - via social media.

For anyone involved in the business of connecting sports with a global audience of passionate fans, these are exciting times. Advances in technology and connectivity mean there’s never been a better time to be a sports fan and for forward-thinking rights holders, there are now countless ways to engage with an audience – before and after the main event.

That’s why we’re delighted to have this opportunity to publish this report in association with SportsPro, which looks at how rights holders and media managers are dealing with increased demand for content, changes in consumption habits and ferocious competition for audience share.

Incorporating the experiences of 70 leading industry professionals, the responses to our survey show that live audiences are generally well catered for but rights holders could be doing more to exploit the value of their near-live and archived media – to service a new generation of fans keen to catch up on the latest action or delve into classic content around the clock.

For 18 to 34-year-olds, watching sport is now more about snacking than settling in front of a TV to watch a game from beginning to end. This survey suggests that sports brands have work to do, with the majority saying they were unable to meet demand across social media and satisfy a younger demographic that now consume more media on mobile than TV.

Technology is the enabler to increase revenue and engage audiences more effectively.

What does this mean for content owners? The majority of respondents felt their supply of content was inadequate – and it’s easy to see how technology has enabled demand to outstrip supply. However, technology is the enabler to increase revenue and engage audiences more effectively.

Cloud-based technology now makes storage, access and delivery affordable for any size organisation – making it possible for rights holders to easily manage and repurpose content for TV, mobile and social across both mainstream and niche sports.

The survey showed that the supply of content needs to be increased and with this comes increased ROI through improved distribution. It is now vital that new and legacy content is properly annotated with rich metadata. As machine learning improves, rights holders who have already digitised their legacy media will find that they have a rich source of content to exploit. With consumer expectations rising all the time, there’s never been a greater opportunity for rights holders to fully exploit the commercial value of all their media assets – to monetise their content more effectively and increase emotional engagement and brand value through social media.

[caption id="attachment_13228" align="alignright" width="300"] Charlie Horrell, CEO, Imagen[/caption]

Research shows that the audience expects to be able to interact more with mobile and social media, to be able to see highlights and to be able to share them with friends, and our survey clearly demonstrates that organisations are seeing that demand. Rights holders need to ensure that both mobile and social are an integral and seamless part of their overall broadcast and distribution strategy – and many of those we asked want to better optimise their output for both.

However, increasing supply, making best use of archive content and incorporating mobile and social can only happen when the media is stored centrally. Tools for generating metadata make content easy to find, and can be combined with high-speed networks to deliver to broadcast partners and with easy syndication to social media and other online platforms.

With that in place, you can go beyond live and join your fans where they are today, to their benefit and yours. We wish you and your business every success and hope you find this survey useful.

This exclusive survey of rights holders and key industry professionals looks at how sports organizations are dealing with increased demand for content, changes in consumption habits and ferocious competition for audience share.

Learn more about challenges facing rights holders in a shifting technological landscape plus new opportunities for sports brands to increase engagement with their audience and generate new revenue from near-live and archive video.

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