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THE CEO’s POV - The trends shaping our strategy in sports streaming

Last month, Nick Meacham, CEO of SportsPro Media and one of the sharpest commentators in the streaming space, provided a superb overview of the 15 themes that are dominating the conversation around the sector.

If you are reading this you probably have an interest in streaming so I recommend you read it in full.

Many of the points raised rang true from the conversations I have with sport leaders on a daily basis, and are similar to the messages that I am relaying to them. As we approach the end of 2022, I wanted to reflect on a few of them here as I think these topics will dominate conversation for the year ahead.

Nick talks of streamers having traditionally measured success as a pure numbers game (e.g. the volume of subs) but how this is now changing to consider the broader monetisation model and user engagement.

For me, this is absolutely key. If you are a tier two or three rights holder you are never going to win building a business model based on pure volume.

These are typically sports with smaller audiences, but they are no less passionate than football, basketball or baseball. The key is increasing stickiness with great content and a range of integrated services, which brings us to the next point…

This isn’t a new phenomenon, but previous high-profile attempts have failed. Take WB Discovery, who were among those who attempted to build an ecosystem around a single sport with the recently discarded GOLFTV. A case of right idea, wrong sport, perhaps.

Nick makes the point that standalone OTT platforms take time and effort to build, and they are hard to monetise. This doesn’t matter so much if you are a tier one property who is not reliant on subs income because you have chunky media rights deals, but, if you don’t, then you need your streaming service to offer much more than just live content.

Joymo is helping rights holders build the home of their sports: fully integrated digital hubs with live, on-demand and curated content all in one place. When you include the data ownership, analytics, ad services, technical support, and more, it's a compelling offer.

It’s ironic of course that the sports that are in the luxurious position of receiving media rights fees for billions of dollars are able to be the most technologically advanced and invest the most money into their products. This is accelerating the divide between tier one and tier two sports. A case of the rich getting rich and the poor getting poorer.

As Nick pointed out - a view Joymo is a fully paid-up subscriber to(!) - lower-tier sports cannot follow the same models as the traditional powerhouses. The quicker your sport accepts that it’s not going to be able to build a business model mirroring the top-tier incumbents, the quicker you’ll be able to find a model that suits your organisation, one that will set you up to build a sustainable business model for the longer term.

From a Joymo perspective, it’s not actually just about the product and the integrations but also finding a delivery partner that is incentivized to deliver a 360 service that includes promotion, marketing, data, analytics and content creation, as well as standard technical and back-end support. This is where the real value add is for tier two sports and below.

Joymo continues 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.