The subject of sports rights holders and the development of owned and operated over-the-top (OTT) platforms has created plenty of debate in recent years.
Who should be doing it? How should they do it? Will the audience come? Will it be profitable? What will it mean for existing broadcast partnerships?
Lots of questions and many different answers depending on the rights holder's situation.
There is no doubt that going direct-to-consumer is (or should be) an essential part of rights holders' future distribution strategies but how to develop their platform is still open to debate.
Typically, there are two main ‘pain points’ for rights holders who are looking to unlock their content; production and distribution. Both are absolutely key to underpinning the commercial and operational ecosystem of the sport or competition in question.
Traditionally, these challenges have been solved by simply selling off the rights and allowing third-party media companies to produce the content and then distribute it on their channels – with the hope that the audience will follow.
There will always be a place for a mixed-media distribution strategy, especially at the top end where the most valuable rights still command a premium, but, increasingly for lower tier rights there is a greater financial opportunity by going direct to your fanbase which is where an OTT platform like ours comes in.
At Joymo, our focus is helping rights holders unlock their content in an efficient, scalable and sustainable way. That drives our business; from product development to our hiring strategies and our sales efforts.
It's our belief that any rights holder broadcasting D2C has to build their product on a solid platform, not just one that delivers low latency and reliability. For us, this includes:
- Rights ownership and data
Ensuring full control over the rights and data on your platform. This will unlock deeper engagement and commercial opportunities with your fans for the long term
- Optimum user experience
Fans expect a premium experience with everything you’d expect to see from a traditional broadcaster – scoreboards, timers, tailored advertising, interactive options - and more. A fully immersive and customisable experience is a must.
- Easy to use and engaging
Simplicity is key. From sign-up to streaming, the user journey has to be seamless across all access points.
Whilst it’s key to keep fans in mind, don’t forget the athletes, teams and clubs. At the lower-level these are key stakeholders and ensuring the viewing (and sharing) experience is fun will increase buy-in and attract more people to the sport and your club.
- Safe and secure
Choosing a platform with built-in features to ensure athletes are safeguarded, GDPR stipulations are met, and data can be easily and securely managed.
- Low cost
Going direct to fans doesn’t have to be expensive and it’s prudent to pick a performance-related partner that has it in their interests to drive viewers to the platform.
- Legally compliant
Ensure that your platform provider understands your legal obligations – copyrights laws for music, for example – to avoid unnecessary interruptions or restrictions.
Our advice to sports right holders is to think of sustainability before making a decision. The consumer market is ever changing and your thinking, when it comes to what D2C platform to use, should consider this.
Map out your plan and look at the provider and the proposition, through a strategy that works for your goals in terms of commercial viability, engagement and community longevity.
When Joymo partners with rights holders, we are committed to investing in both product and people to maximize the value of the content.
We are not simply a platform that you plug and pay. It’s in our interest to help drive as many viewers to your content as we can.