Addicted to Social Media? Sports Video Highlights in the era of D2C Streaming

This is the fourth and final post of our four-part series, guest-authored by video tech expert Brian Ring. This one features results from Ring Digital’s Fall 2020 #FutureOfTV Survey. To get a copy and join our Live Webinar, visit: FutureOfTV.Live.


Sports highlights long ago moved from the local TV station newscast to cable, where SportsCenter and ESPN leveled-up the concept to a clear success. Then the regional sports networks thrived on highlights fare. More recently, user-generated content and social media apps have been king as the go-to app for sports highlights viewers. And my latest #FutureOfTV survey shows they’re running away with it.

We surveyed 1,400 sports video highlights viewers and found 44% of them describe their “go-to” app for sports video highlights as a social media app. And that is up 10 points from an identical survey we ran in 2017. (Get the full report, a complete archive of research, & register for our Live Webinar, HERE.)

SocialMediaGotoDriving tune-in and engaging fans with highlights on social media is essential.
And it’s key that content is tailored for each platform which requires agility in media orchestration. But in the direct-to-consumer streaming era, is it possible to monetize highlights directly? Do we need to re-think the balance between for-free vs. for-pay? Between social media versus owned & operated platforms? Between promotion and monetization?

Netflix has shown that investments in content, technology and user experience can indeed compel people to open their wallets and pay for a service even if they might already have a substitute product.

That begs the questions:
What can rights holders – whether TV networks, leagues or pay TV providers – offer exclusively that consumers will pay for? And what can be done to invest in product, user experience and brand to build greater margin into those products via subscription tiers?

That freemium model has proven itself powerful in the direct-to-consumer streaming wars. Isn’t there room for the same “ultra-premium” value proposition in the ultimate sports app? A RedZone 2.0? A personalized SportsCenter?

In short, how can we get our kids off social media and into premium, ad-free sports apps? Mission impossible, right?

Thankfully, there’s a lot of innovation happening right now. And all of it holds the key to more video and value.

The complete post, originally published on Fierce Video is HERE. 

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