In today’s new sports and entertainment world, it has become much more critical than ever to understand fan behavior, according to Paul Hennebury, general manager of sports and entertainment at ATMECS.
And it is “more essential to break that behavior down to drive new revenue streams,” he said July 2 during the data breakout session “Fan at Home – Redefining the Fan Experience for the New Normal” at the Global Media & Entertainment Day event presented live, virtually, from London.
Consumer companies have long had the tools to understand their customers and drive behaviors — but sports and entertainment companies have not.
However, a new platform that ATMECS has partnered with Spark Compass on “allows you to have a direct channel to your fans, to understand their behaviors at a hyper-localized level and deliver them the enhanced experiences in real time that they can crave — and all the while monetizing and rewarding those experiences with content that you own,” Hennebury told viewers.
Fan behavior is changing and engagement is changing also, he noted. “It’s no longer the lean-back, passive fan that really just absorbs whatever sports and entertainment” that is delivered to them, he said.
“It’s really moving toward a fan that’s leaning forward, that’s more engaged, that’s active … and they’re more ready to do something and really, frankly, expect it,” he said.
Fans, meanwhile, are now “really a by-product of the tech that they’re using,” he said, noting: “They’re watching on different devices — iPads, iPhones, Samsung devices – and it’s anywhere, anytime, any device.”
Erik Bjontegard, CEO and founder of Spark Compass, then asked viewers: “What if you knew who’s watching, where they are – not only what they’re watching but also at the very moment of time that they’re watching and engaging with your content?”
He pointed out: “If you had that ability, you can create new types of fan relationships.”
And then, how can you monetize those relationships beyond traditional pay TV methods?
“If you had a channel that was yours,” Bjontegard explained, “you can also deliver ads and you can control the ads,” adding: “You can actually create value for your customers, for your fans and activate offers that [are] relevant to the content that they’re consuming.”
You can offer a product for sale at a certain time and “enable that transaction,” for example, he said.
“Ultimately, the true value here is that you can also provide immense value to your sponsors: The ability to understand who, what, where, when somebody is consuming your content can become exceptionally valuable to your customer and your sponsors,” he explained.
Context is the New King
There is “a new king in town: context,” Bjontegard told attendees. After all, he explained: “If you know more, you can do more with that knowledge. Then, of course, you can earn more.”
He pointed to the growing importance of programmatic ads and told viewers: “If you can now deliver those based on context, that’s exceptionally valuable, as [are] location-based and context-based experiences. Of course, delivering experiences, unlocking content and selling merchandise can drive new revenue streams for you.”
He went on to present a video demonstration of the Spark Compass platform that was recorded to show the “new normal in action” that he said redefines the fan experience for today’s “new normal.”
The fourth annual M&E Day event, presented by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), featured mainstage panels and more than 15 breakout sessions, covering the latest it data, cloud, IT and security across the media and entertainment technology ecosystem.
The event was presented by Caringo, with sponsorship by Convergent Risks, Cyberhaven, Richey May Technology Solutions, RSG Media, Signiant, Whip Media Group, Zendesk, Seagate Powered by Tape Ark, Sony New Media Solutions, 5th Kind, ATMECS, Eluvio, Tamr, the Audio Business Continuity Alliance (ABCA), the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR) and The Trusted Partner Network (TPN).