Future of TV
According to this Ampere Analysis report, demographic and cultural shifts are changing the way younger audiences view sport, and consume content. Evidence suggests that the availability of online video services like Amazon Prime and Netflix could be influencing this trend. With nearly 32,000 consumers interviewed between the ages of 18-24, the report found that sports fans were under represented when considered against older demographics. This should ring alarm bells for networks and services that rely on sport to draw audiences to linear TV.
Could it be that millennials are off-put by sport due to the data heavy nature of the genre? It is possible that sport might perform better if it included interactive aspects as part of its distribution to OTT platforms?
A report by Ofcom on media use by children, highlights that the next generation prefer to watch content online, watch less TV on set-tops, and enjoy interactive activities such as making pictures, editing videos and creating avatars.
Drawing from this research, it's clear to conclude that if sports OTT became more creative and interactive it may bring more viewership from younger audiences. Instead of baked in graphics, sports providers may find success scheduling interactive content into the viewing experience.
Earlier this year the NFL announced it was extending its digital presence in a 10 game partnership with Twitter. College basketball, as represented by Atlantic 10 is now following suit. A10 have announced they will use Facebook to stream 15 games in an experiment in social media delivery. Offering games through this medium will, according to A10's Mike Vest, 'expand the number of people who can watch A10 basketball, and bring that content to them on a platform they’re already using'.
The fact it's a platform potential new viewers already use, means A10 can take advantage of Facebook's existing social structures such as groups and RSVP systems which may attract a new demographic of viewers. A demographic, who do not watch college basketball through A10's network, website, app or existing broadcast deals. The NFL's deal with Twitter also demonstrates their search for these new demographics too. Just like the NFL, A10 games will be free to viewers, with a long term hope to monetise streams through sponsorship and advertising.
Not one but two strategic announcements this week from Turner, focused on the future of TV.
In the US, Turner has acquired top strategic-consulting firm BRaVe Ventures to lead innovation at TBS and TBT.
Turner International has established a new digital ventures and innovation division in the UK. It is reported that the focus of this new unit will be on direct to consumer offerings, mobile and OTT.
Even the most innovative and forward-thinking publishers and brands adopting new platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat are struggling with monetization and discovery.
For example Tastemade are getting 20 million monthly views on their Instagram stories, but no revenue, and Snapchat's metrics platform has been described as "a black hole of nothingness". Meanwhile on Facebook, brands are still trying to figure out the best way to use the live format, in the hope that Facebook will eventually allow them to monetize it.
There's no doubt that the audience for this content is out there, and the numbers reflect it, but it's a reminder that as long as you're on someone else's platform you have to play by their rules.
Expanding its reach into TV and streaming, Twitter has announced its Android TV app, which follows two months after the social media giant first launched apps for Apple TV, Fire TV and Xbox One, in time for Twitter’s first NFL live stream in mid-September.
The Android TV app allows users of TVs and streaming boxes powered by Google’s TV software to not only tune into its NFL live streams and other live video streamed on its service, but also connect with a selection of popular tweets as well as an option to tune into the ever-popular Periscope broadcasts.
Crucially, and this will be a feature that will come as a treat to fans of entertainment TV, sports and live political debates, users can also watch a feed of curated tweets and a live broadcast side-by-side; there’s no need to log in or even own a Twitter account to access live streams through the app.
The addition of curated tweets is a clever and gentle way to expose non Twitter users to the benefits of the platform.