In early September I took part in a podcast for Unofficial Partner proactively titled ‘Stop saying OTT’. You can listen to it here.
The thrust of the conversation, and the point I was keen to make, is how the acronym OTT has become ubiquitous as a general descriptor for something (direct-to-fan strategy), which is actually far broader than ‘Over The Top’ delivery of content.
The discussion also centred on the growing number of providers available in this market providing more options than ever before for rights holders, making the prospect for live streaming content more accessible and affordable.
These points are key tenets of the Joymo philosophy. Our founding premise was making live sports content available to people who can’t be at an event in person. Inextricably linked to this, was our aim to create a model for rights holders that could enable them to better own and operate direct relationships with their fans.
My comments on the podcast appear to have created conversation in the market.
I want to counter some of the conjecture by making myself really clear: delivering high-quality direct-to-fan streaming services is a complicated business. There are many front and back-end elements to consider and it’s not for the faint hearted on the side of the client or the supplier.
However, it is abundantly clear that as technology evolves, hardware becomes more affordable, consumer habits continue to evolve and the drive for first-party data strengthens, streaming has become more and more attractive to rights holders.
And we can see this desire play out in the number of new services we see launching in the market and the number of providers now available to partner with.
As the market becomes more democratised - a term that is far more appropriate than commoditised - the decision making process, and criteria, becomes more important than ever.
And, whilst price will always be a factor, for the record, we don’t ever believe this decision should be made on this basis alone.
When a rights holder decides to build a direct-to-fan proposition, our view is that the business model and the value that the partner can bring that have to be uppermost in their thoughts.
We at Joymo fully appreciate that this is a significant investment in the future of these individual sports. For those without major broadcast incomes, this is the crucial element of their strategy for the next 10 years and beyond. It has to work to engage their current fans and attract new ones.
With that in mind, the very last thing they need is a partner that is looking to build a cheap and cheerful solution based on receiving a one-time build fee or low commissions. What they really need is a relationship built on a mutual enterprise which promotes win-win scenarios.
This is the Joymo approach. We want to be incentivized to deliver a 360 service that includes promotion, marketing and content creation, as well as standard technical and back-end support.
If that is shaking up the market and making some competitors feel uncomfortable, then so be it. We would rather challenge the status quo and avoid situations where rights holders are left with streaming products with minimal functionality and limited usage because there is little incentive to promote them.
We will continue to differentiate based on our holistic delivery model focused on building bespoke central content hubs that include full service end-to-end media streaming platforms that incorporate live streaming, content management, data ownership, and analytics.
We strongly believe this approach is key to unlocking the value of our partners' content and is the only way to meet the evolving needs of rights holders, their fans and their commercial partners.