Why social platforms failed to pick up Premier League rights

Campaign recently published this article by our Director of We Are Social Sport, Joe Weston, looking at why Facebook and other tech platforms failed to pick up the Premier League rights. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it below.

Five of the seven Premier League rights have been sold once again for astronomical figures. But there’s nothing new to see here, folks. It’s BT and Sky again.

For months, reports have circulated that one of the major tech giants – Amazon, Google, Facebook or Netflix – would swoop in to compete, shake things up and make a real statement. But alas, the ambition hasn’t matched the rumours.

I have to admit I wanted to see what was possible if Facebook or Amazon bought it all. After all, Facebook has never shied away from spending money when it sees the strategic importance. $21.8bn (£15.72bn) on WhatsApp? Sure. $2bn on Oculus, not a problem.

It certainly looked like they were gearing up to be serious contenders with senior sports-focused hires and suggestive comments from their global head of sports partnerships Dan Reed, such as “The Premier League is a very important partner of ours. We work with them to help them reach their audience.” But it when push came to shove it seems that the Premier League was a step too far – just like the Indian Premier League cricket was.

It’s not just Facebook that has its eye on sports rights. This week, YouTube’s chief executive said he would ‘love to stream the NFL’ and Twitter, Snapchat and Amazon have secured smaller deals within the sports world for some exclusive rights. So, lots of flirting, lots of eyelash flutters, but no one’s made the big move yet.

Perhaps it’s simply that Sky and BT have too much to lose. Their setups are based on traditional advertising and subscription models. Buy the rights, sign the users, sell the ad space either side. Lose the rights, two revenue streams disappear in an instant.

But I don’t buy that. These Premier League figures aren’t out of reach. If Facebook or Amazon or Google really wanted them, they could afford them in an instant and blow the competition out of the water. Maybe it’s more about the platforms themselves – and this is where it gets interesting.

Is it an operational issue? The Premier League is one of the most passionately watched competitions in world football. That makes it compelling, but bestows a huge amount of responsibility on the owner. Heavy is the head that wears the Premier League crown. Could Facebook, or Google or Amazon deliver these sports to the expectation of the fans? Can you imagine the outcry if the stream lagged? You only need to ask ITV what happens if you miss a crucial moment.

Consider the user experience. How does it sit alongside the existing uses of the platform? Granted, Facebook has its new shiny ‘Watch’ to support, but is this really the place to start experimenting with live sports? Perhaps not. What about in feed? Facebook has spent the last few years telling advertisers that six, four, five and now three seconds is the optimal video length. How does two hours of live football sit alongside that? This seems unlikely to say the least.

Ultimately, I think this comes down to timing. The Premier League rights – the jewels in the crown of the rights world – have perhaps just come around too quickly for the platforms to capitalise on.

But what’s clear is that the sports consumption landscape is shifting. I expect to see these rumours arise in every rights negotiation moving forward. As the next generation continues to cut the TV cords, and traditional viewing figures drop, both the broadcasters and the rights holders are going to be reevaluating traditional TV deals.

Sports and social media are like Kane and Alli – they go perfectly together, and it’s only a matter of time before we see the second screen become the first.

The post Why social platforms failed to pick up Premier League rights appeared first on We Are Social UK.

Vox Media Lays Off About 50 as Social Video Cools


Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff issued a memo to staff Wednesday morning announcing layoffs to roughly 50 employees, or about 5 percent of its workforce, with publications Racked, Curbed, SB Nation and its video services team hit hardest.

The company is also offering to reshuffle about a dozen employees to different roles and will make “smaller changes elsewhere in the company,” the memo said.

“In the past 9 years, my group emails have mainly been to celebrate successes,” Bankoff wrote in the memo. “Unfortunately, today is one of the toughest days we’ve had as a company. As a result of our decision to wind down certain initiatives, we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our talented colleagues who have made valuable contributions to our success.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com

‘Absence of a Negative’ Advertising and Consumer Research

Advertising often feels like a ‘sea of sameness’ where it is almost impossible to distinguish brands within a category from one another. In today’s data and research driven world, it may seem a bit surprising that brands don’t work harder to differentiate themselves. The problem is that there can often be a discrepancy between the perception in consumer testing and actual consumer behavior, particularly when it comes to ‘absence of a negative’ advertising.

‘Absence of a negative’ advertising is a simple concept. It sets up the current, flawed state of a business or industry, then presents your offering as a better alternative that knocks down the status quo. This is a simple comparison with a clear message, but consumer research often discourages it. Focus groups and preliminary testing can make it seem like ‘absence of a negative’ will not work, even if it is effective.

The reason why is because the message often gets panned by consumers in focus groups or surveys. The message that something is wrong in the industry and that your company solves that problem comes across loud and clear, but consumers still react negatively during testing and criticize the ad, even if their willingness to buy has gone up. Pressing consumers further, they often admit that the language forces them to think they have been making a mistake in their decision making, which is embarrassing and hard to admit. Instead of thinking about whether the ad made them more likely to buy the product, they say they don’t like the ad because it makes them question themselves.  The advertising can still be extremely effective in influencing consumers to choose your product, but that can often be overlooked by people reacting negatively to the ad in research. This is something advertisers must be aware of when evaluating consumer research.

For example, here are a couple of older CarMax spots that present a view of the retailer that clearly differentiates it from the status quo in their industry. Of course, this retailer needs to feel different than traditional dealers. Attempting to advertise a positive presentation would get lost in the ‘sea of sameness’ of dealers making the same claims and research would overstate its effectiveness versus a better comparative message.

 

Another example is our National Thoroughbred Racing Association radio campaign. It wasn’t a purely ‘absence of a negative’ campaign, but we incorporated elements of that idea into it, in order to highlight going to the track as an alternative to a traditional night out.

 

Growing a PR Career at 5W Public Relations

Joining the 5W team a year and a half ago, I never could have anticipated the growth and opportunities that would come my way as I stepped foot into the buzzing offices on my first day.  Leading the Recruitment team means I get an up-close and personal view of our staff on a daily basis and it’s truly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career.  Not only does every individual care about doing and being their best, but you have the ability to pave your own path.  There’s nothing more rewarding than walking through the halls and hearing teams brainstorming or applauding each other’s success.  It’s what makes my job and the work of our team so rewarding.

So what do we look for in prospective 5W employees?  That is the million dollar question my team is asked, and answers on a daily basis.  As the Recruitment team for 5W, we spend our days speaking with the best and brightest in the industry, and although the field is constantly evolving, there are a few characteristics that never go out of style. Here are a few specifically that we look for when speaking with talent:

Proactive

We welcome the individuals that sat in the front rows of their classes, took on projects that were outside of their comfort zones and consistently raised their hands to get involved.  This is an innate quality that can’t be taught, is difficult to replicate but is greatly appreciated at 5W!

Creative

One of our favorite mottos is that we don’t live by a playbook here.  5W is a company that thinks outside of the box and encourages staff to get creative for our clients.  We look for individuals that go against the grain and can bring fresh ideas and perspective. How have you flexed your creativity muscles in your previous and current work?

Researcher

Do your homework.  Come to the conversation prepared with industry knowledge and recent campaigns that caught your attention.  Show us your expertise of the field and the movers and shakers within! Even better, top this off with your knowledge on 5W; recent blog posts from our team, business we won, placements that caught your eye, etc.

Collaborator

No two days are alike at 5W, but there is one constant–your team.  We look for individuals that can be leaders and take ownership of their work, while working cohesively and successfully within a group.  How have you demonstrated this and made an impact on your team?

5W is growing and we’re always looking for talent and individuals that truly love what they do, are passionate about the industry and want continued opportunities for growth.  If this sounds like you, let’s talk!  Visit our careers page.

 

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