Media consumption has changed forever: get in on the action


Our traditional sponsorship models and established revenue generating activities are under threat with new technology replacing the way we do things. How consumers use media and technology are driving these changes which is forcing rights holders to reassess their content distribution approach. There's plenty of upside in it for rights-holders so media owners need to get savvy to get in on the action.

Pay-as-you-go is one of a few different content distribution models that is yielding great returns for some rights-holders. With pay-as-you-go, fans can watch events directly from a rights-holder's website by purchasing passes to watch individual games, races or events or if they want, an entire season. Plenty of Australian-based brands are doing this right now with considerable success.

There's also free live streaming which is another way for rights-holders to take control of their content distribution. Social media offers a plethora of live streaming opportunities and they're all doing it from Facebook Live to YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter. Providing real time updates from where it's all happening creates engaging content for fans who want to be part of the event experience without having to actually be there.

E-sports continues to build momentum and is now reaching huge audiences whilst providing new revenue streams through advertising and user accounts. It's even gone mainstream with the Seven Network last year launching a new gaming show, screenPLAY, broadcasting live via Facebook Live and 7mate covering the latest and greatest in esports and gaming. It's reaching new audiences providing new opportunities for sponsors.

The entire consumer experience has undergone a revolution and it's paying dividends for fans. Watch any major sports event on television and you'll see what I mean. From augmented reality to virtual assets designed to integrate seamlessly into the fan experience, it's a whole new playing field. High quality, low-cost billboards means we're seeing digital billboards everywhere. It's little wonder outdoor has seen double-digit growth of advertising in recent years. The explosion of these new assets means they'll continue to have a significant impact on how contracts with sponsors are negotiated. Savvy sponsors will be more inclined to want measures on the number of impressions given the platforms being used.

Regardless, the fact remains broadcast rights are still the main source of revenue for most rights-holders. This cannot be underestimated and rights-holders need to be careful not to alienate their traditional partners by chasing after some get-rich-quick opportunity offered by digital. Take the Moto GP as an example. While this premier class of motorcycle road racing gets the equivalent of 689 million Australian dollars from hospitality and tickets, by far their largest income is from selling broadcast rights which commands 4.75 billion Aussie dollars. That's hard to argue even for digital asset owners.

The changes we're seeing in how consumers use media and consume content will continue to have a profound impact on how rights-holders do business. Just be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water because free-to-air is catching up quick with new digital offerings attracting new audiences that will soon level the playing field.

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