Why Content Will Drive Sports Betting Growth

Sports betting has exploded over the last few years. In the US, more and more states are legalizing online betting with huge demand as seen by the $2.4billion in wagers in New York during the first five weeks live. We are also seeing numerous sportsbooks cozying up with content providers. DraftKings with SB Nation, Penn National Gaming buying Barstool and The Score and FanDuel and TVG to name a few. But how these sportsbooks end up using content will ultimately decide who wins and who loses, with content helping to drive customer stickiness and loyalty and with it, their wallets. Here are three ways content and overall user experience will power customer engagement and loyalty and ultimately decide which sportsbooks find success.

The Case for User Experience

Speaking of user experience, the current interface for most sports sites leaves much to be desired, especially for new-to-betting recreational bettors who are trying this for the first time. Many new bettors expect an interface they are more used to – more visualized and content-heavy rather than scoreboard and filled with data/numbers. While the betting industry in Europe is more mature and may have more legacy issues to adapt, there is a huge opportunity for operators in the US to revive the interface to make it feel more like an app, be more intuitive, user friendly and fun, which in turn, will attract more bettors and will make them stay longer. The UX is also an opportunity for differentiation which will especially be needed as the industry gets more and more crowded.

Using Content to Attract Bettors

Betting operators understand that content is what will attract bettors and keep them coming back. But the way in which content is used has a ways to go. Currently, most operators have a simplistic offering, with content complementing traffic. For example, an article is published describing the game events, impacting odds with a link to a gaming site. Or broadcast and OTT platforms discuss betting odds and direct viewers to how to place a bet. Or registered users may also be sent an alert with a video highlightlight, directing them to place a bet on their app of choice. The next step in using content is to merge all content into a single screen experience so that bettors can read and view content and then immediately place a wager all on one screen.

But what is most exciting is what the future may bring. There is an opportunity for betting operators to provide a single destination for sports fans, providing all sport content and entertainment and featuring a betting option. In addition to written content, which could include game and player news, predictions, fantasy content and more, video highlights and live play can be embedded within, more inline with what sports fans are used to from a user experience. In a recent survey by Variety Intelligence Platform , 58% of MLB fans, 54% of NBA and 48% of NFL fans aged 18-34 prefer watching highlights over full games.

Video Driving Action

In the near future, the use of video in sportsbooks will mature to be entirely personalized and relevant to the users betting patterns. Video-on-demand will enable users to request a video highlight of a specific play or player or a side-by-side comparison to make an educated wager. Moreover, they will be able to review their open or settled bets status through live video footage. They will have full control of what they want to see, when they want to see it and on the device of their preference. For example, a bettor will not be interested to see the full Lakers game highlights but rather a specific player performance due to the player props they wagered.

With this differentiation in mind, sportsbook content strategy will not be competing with the traditional sport content publishers as it will provide more relevant and personalized content. While not yet widely implemented due to the challenges of content ownership, hopefully soon video on demand will be the cornerstone of sports betting, driven by the user. The endgame is a complete convergence of the video and betting markets.

This article was originally featured in EGR.