We are partnering with Leaders in Sport, the premium global conference and publishing organisation in sport, for its Broadcast Disruptor series. The series delivers mission critical content and opportunities for the industry’s key players to connect, share ideas and find solutions across the ever-changing sports media space.
As part of the partnership, Accedo will act as an advisor for the series and will deliver a dedicated session as part of the Think Tank on 8th December – a private, interactive forum hosted by Leaders. Focused on remote production for broadcasters, rights holders, and agencies, as well as disruptive ways of monetizing video and OTT through ecommerce, the Think Tank is part of regular roundtable discussions bringing together senior industry figures to explore challenges and solutions in the ever-changing sports industry.
Our VP Strategy and Business Development, Bleuenn Le Goffic, sat down with Leaders to discuss the sports ecosystem and Accedo’s role in helping sports organizations deliver engaging content to fans.
Where does Accedo sit in the sports broadcast and production ecosystem?
We are in the distribution and the monetization side. We are not involved with the content production itself, but we’re very much involved in the technology bit – getting your content to your audience. Throughout Accedo’s history of working with media companies, the main focus has been around monetizing video.
Our aim is to support our customers to grow successful video businesses by providing smart solutions, enabling their strategy – addressing the immediate and future business needs of digital companies. We work with companies who use video to gain advertising revenue or subscription revenue – that has sort of been the bread and butter across the 17 years of Accedo – and some are looking at video as a must to acquire a digital audience. We provide the relevant technology platform to get their content to their audience, with the right level of control and flexibility to achieve business success.
For NBC Sports, for example, we were the big screen expert when it came to developing its OTT service for smart TV, and for Hong Kong Rugby Union, we were the experts in providing it with a turnkey out of the box OTT solution, which enabled it to evaluate the size of its digital audience. For Buzzer, we’ve been advising and developing a micropayment sports OTT platform.
What are the big challenges you’re seeing and hearing from rights holders as they tackle streaming/OTT?
Thanks to the democratization of technology, consumers have reached a high degree of digital maturity. This, combined with the impressively fast and constant pace of technology evolution, means digital businesses need to not only learn from their audience but become adopters of those new technologies so as not to be disrupted. We know the leading media companies are challenged with that, and it’s the same for newcomers. It can be overwhelming: What technology to equip yourself with? Who to trust? How to de-risk investments? What will work with my audience?
There are some useful ground rules: be bold and concrete about objectives, get all internal stakeholders to contribute to the implementation plan and seek out suppliers who will help you work towards your business goals.
One example that we had is our experience with the Hong Kong Rugby Union. It decided some years ago that it wanted to get a better grasp of its digital audience, how big it was and how big it could be. To do that, it actually invested in an OTT platform, where it decided to stream some live games. Incredibly, HKRU got a much bigger audience via its OTT platform than on its YouTube channel. After an 18 month campaign, HKRU was able to use the number of subscribers as leverage with its traditional media partners to demonstrate a much larger audience than on its original YouTube and social channels, and one which was engaged and willing to pay for content. The experiment was mind-blowing and it gave HKRU real data, which its commercial team could then use.
What does Accedo have, in terms of knowledge, experience, product, outside sport that can be transferred into and helpful for the sports industry?
One of the specialties of Accedo is the video experience. We understand the technology; it’s in our DNA. We have worked across the globe, for 17 years, for all kinds of video businesses – from media leaders like Paramount+ or HBO, to video shopping channels like QVC. We have experts across the globe who understand how unique the combination of content, brand, region, business model is and who can advise on where to start and even more importantly how to evolve. You can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach, but you certainly have patterns of things you can replicate and then you can empower teams to have the right level of flexibility, to allow them to learn from their audience and test out different strategies.
We live and breathe video experiences. We are always looking for the next way to drive revenues, and we invest in new prototypes to test with our partners their potential relevance, like video shopping as an evolution of the advertising strategy. Video shopping could be the next big area of revenue generation.
Where are the big areas of innovation in this space?
I think the biggest non-opportunity is the trap of fan engagement – it’s really a lazy KPI. As with any business, you need to have a digital strategy that will grow, and you also need to anticipate what’s coming next and be prepared to diversify. If you look at the F1 and Netflix collaboration, it’s clearly a diversification of revenues and an expansion of their audience. It’s interesting as a model for big sports organizations.
For others, an area to invest in is driving revenues to your digital products – ticketing, merchandising. How do you drive more channels, so they actually lead to selling your digital products? Here is where video shopping is a big opportunity – we know influencers have been using social media to do that, that’s a booming industry. How does that happen for sports organizations? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, you just need to look at other industries and what made them successful.
Another opportunity is the metaverse. There’s the gaming and all the cool stuff that people talk about, but I think the value is in the premium video experience and the fact it is a new platform where you can generate advertising revenue – new devices, new users, new ways or purchasing. We need to get started on understanding how to convert these new technologies or new business models into true revenue-drivers. It’s not about the short term; it’s about having a foot in the door at the point where they start to grow.
Find out more about the Broadcast Disruptors Series.
Learn how Accedo is helping sports organizations grow their video business and unlock new revenue streams.
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