sports streaming carrier billing

Sports Streaming – How to Stay Ahead of the Game with Monetisation

13 August 2020
Carrier Billing

Before COVID-19, the sports streaming industry was a lucrative market for the likes of sports apps and OTT providers.

COVID-19 has only increased sports fans’ appetite for streaming. The hiatus of sports content due to the outbreak left viewers “particularly ravenous for sport content, and with many people still at home, sport viewing time surged 24% higher at the end of June than the baseline set in the first week of March”.

The Sports Streaming Market at a Glance

Globally, paid TV services lost 2.09 million subscribers in Q3 2019 – this is mostly due to price and consumer preference. The global video streaming market, however, is set to reach $184.27 billion by 2027.

With 64% of global sports fans aged 18 to 27 watching sports content via mobile apps, third parties, or pay TV providers and 51% specifically using streaming services to follow sports not available anywhere else, it’s no surprise that time spent streaming sport had already recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels in June 2020.

Increasing demand for high-speed internet technologies (like 5G) benefits the market, as does the growing usage of devices, with 69% of sports fans worldwide saying that emerging technologies have enhanced their viewing experience.

Sport Streaming Market Data Visualisation and Statistics

Information Source: Techjury, Verizon Media, SVG Europe, Statista and Grand View Research

Understanding Sports Fans

The rapid rise of smartphones and digital preferences mean that many sports fans seek sports content 24/7. Live action is central to the fan experience – however this is, of course, limited. The 24/7 fan is looking for ways to get their fix during down time, off season, and more recently during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sports Fans Survey and Statistics SLA Digital Data Visualisation

Information Source: Verizon Media

What do Sports Fans Consider When Streaming?

  • Experience – In a recent Verizon Media survey, 1 in 3 fans are looking for a more personalised experience, with more control over the live experience – with 35% preferring access to replay controls like slow motion, 30% seeking the ability to switch between camera angles, time shifting (30%) and the ability to skip ads (30%). 42% would like easier access to match highlights, while 22% would like libraries of on-demand content.
  • Price – 37% of sports fans have cancelled a live streaming subscription if they don’t see value in it, with 45% citing price as the primary reason, followed by lack of coverage (23%), a hard to use interface or delay behind live (19%). However, 63% would consider paying, or paying more, for a live sports streaming service if it offered coverage of a sports league or team that interests them.
  • Device – 39% of sports fans use a streaming service because it allows them to watch on their smartphone.

Being a 24/7 fan is also about extending the experience outside of live sport – even when the match or season ends. With many sports resuming as lockdowns ease, what could monetisation of sports streaming look like for apps and OTT content providers?

Monetising Sports Streaming

What sports fans are looking for:

  • Advertising – 86% of sports fans expect streaming services to offer a different ad experience, with 54% expecting fewer adverts and 29% wanting more personalised advertising and offers.
  • Personalised or exclusive features – 45% of live video audiences would pay for live, exclusive or on-demand video from a favourite team speaker, or performer – “Service providers can make full use of the true flexibility of online streaming to personalise every aspect of the experience – from the content to the way they monetise it.”

Monetising Sports Streaming Statistics and Data Visualisation SLA Digital

Information Source: Verizon Media and Techjury

Sports Streaming Opportunities

Other opportunities for sports streaming:

  • In countries like the Middle East, there is high demand and growth in interest for sports.
  • Sports betting – in the countries where this is legal, companies can collaborate with video streaming services to “create a complete, on-screen betting experience.”
  • Payment options are expanding as the demand for streaming grows – carrier billing is a safe, secure and convenient way for users to add streaming services as one off payments or subscriptions to their mobile phone bill.

It’s clear that understanding your sports fan as a customer is key for streaming services. Offering personalisation and exclusivity (live access to interviews, a choice in features etc.) is important to fans, while incorporating favourable pricing and payment methods can also increase viability in the long term.

Considering adding carrier billing to your sports app or streaming service? Contact SLA Digital today.

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