Game, set, and match: Monetizing live sporting events in era of personalization

In 2015 the Wimbledon final featuring Andy Murray and Djokovic received close to 9 million views in UK, and 1.2 million views in Australia. More significantly, there were 1.7 million streams viewed through 21 million unique devices as per data released by AELTC. Clearly, there is an indication that sports broadcast is changing. However, just shifting to OTT platforms cannot resolve all the issues with monetizing video content. Fragmented markets, loss of revenue due to ad-blockers, and higher demand for personalized content are some of the biggest challenges television networks are facing. Here are three things that can help overcome these challenges.

Defeating ad-blockers with server-side ad insertion

By 2020 TV networks and broadcasters are estimated to lose $27 billion due to ad blockers. Client side ad insertion, the most commonly used method for monetizing OTT platforms, is ineffective against the ad-blockers. With client-side ad insertion ad blockers can completely stop the advertisement from loading, severely impacting the numbers for the advertisers. Along with the adverse impact on the traffic, this method is also highly dependent on third party applications. By shifting to the server-side ad insertion, live sports can be monetized better as ad stitching occurs on the server, preventing ad-blockers from blocking the ad. This dynamic ad insertion technology also improves the user experience by eliminating the delay in ad-buffering.

Ad insertion on live feedsHarshad-Blog-Profile

Unlike recorded content, live content is a far trickier territory when it comes to over-the-top content delivery. Wimbledon and other live sporting events face the risk of content being cut by ads when streaming live content over the top. One of the integral parts of broadcasting live sports is ensuring smooth switch to the advertisement in an abrupt break scenario. In an OTT environment, this switch is seldom without consequences and can lead to accumulation of delay, which ultimately can cut into the content, leading to audience missing out an important movement in the match. Imagine missing out on Roger Federer’s recent victory moment in a comeback thriller against Marin Cilic! This article explains how a well-designed server-side ad insertion strategy can help TV channels avoid this.

Personalized advertising and content

The iOS and Android apps launched for Wimbledon 2016 allow the fans to personalize their experience completely. This includes personalized content, messaging, and even a ‘create your Wimbledon story’ feature. In days to come other sporting events will also need an OTT personalization solution to identify interests of their users, and insert appropriate ads in live-stream using these interests.

As the world makes the shift from a fixed programming to personalized programming, users will have more choice in kind of content they consume. TV networks, sports broadcasters, and content owners will need to think of innovative ways such as dynamic ad insertion to retain their audience, and expand their revenues.

You can read more about monetizing video content and server-side ad insertion on Amagi blog. Please feel free to put your questions and suggestions in the comments section below.

Visit Amagi.com to know more about delivering personalized ads on OTT feeds.

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