Last week, our VP of Growth, Vadim Drozdovski was a featured guest on The Unofficial Partner Podcast, alongside Google’s Strategic Partner Development Manager, Marvin Brischke.
The wide-ranging discussion focused on coverage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and how WSC Sports’ AI-powered platform helped rights holders generate upwards of 61 million views on Google Search.
During the tournament, WSC Sports supplied more than 20 national broadcasters—including SuperSport, NOS and TV2—the means to automatically capture key highlights and distribute them directly to the top-ranked position on Google Search as the action unfolded in real-time.
Out of the total number of views, CTA’s from ads featured within the content registered 20 million clicks, meaning that one in three people that watched one of the clips went on to consume more content on the broadcasters’ native platforms.
Check out some of the key takeaways from the conversation below, and listen to the full podcast.
- Fans’ habits are changing
Consumer habits are changing. The way younger audiences consume content is evolving, as they shift away from watching full matches and instead opt to catch up on key moments close to live airing. They enjoy sharing and discussing the content with their friends. Even during live games, they tend to multitask and catch up on other content on second screens during important moments.
- Content consumption is evolving
The move to digital has increased the availability and accessibility of content, with near live highlights available almost instantly on various official and non-official platforms. This change has resulted in a shift from a “scarcity economy” where having exclusive content alone can retain users, to an “attention economy” where effectively utilizing the content is crucial in the ongoing struggle for viewers’ attention.
- Accessibility is a revenue driver
Retaining content behind paywalls is not a sustainable strategy in the digital age. Although dedicated fans may seek out the content, their numbers are dwindling and they consume less content than before. To effectively reach and engage a broader audience, rights holders must make content easily accessible at the right time and place. Google is an influential tool for shaping content consumption decisions. It’s the most popular place where fans search for sports information. By providing relevant and engaging content through Google One Box, rights holders can tap into a largely untapped audience and drive value.
- OneBox is a valuable discovery touchpoint
Google OneBox’s primary function is to answer questions, and sports fans ask a lot of questions about live sports events. By providing them with captivating content, rights holders can generate revenue (through advertising) from untapped demographics. This content can motivate users to progress from the discovery phase to taking action. Each near-live story highlight includes a call-to-action, encouraging users to download an app, sign up for a free trial, or purchase a subscription (to name just a few examples). Rights holders can also gather data about their potential target audience, not just the fans that arrive on their owned and operated platforms.
- The future is tailor-made
As the demand for content discovery continues to grow, rights holders must be willing to adapt their strategies. This includes being open to sharing content beyond paywalls and utilizing their content to drive re-acquisition and monetization. The way in which content is distributed during and after games must also be tailored to meet the needs of users and maximize reach and performance. Additionally, delivering the right type of content (such as language-specific or tailored to different formats) will become crucial for success. As more ‘casual audiences’ enter the market, rights holders will need to explore alternative pricing models such as freemium options and ad-supported subscription tiers.