g fill-rule="evenodd">

SVG Europe speaks to Kjetil Horneland about the year ahead

As the dawn of 2019 draws nearer, SVG Europe speaks to Kjetil Horneland, CEO, Sixty, to reflect on the disruptive changes which have occurred within the broadcast and media industry over the last 12 months, and how this will impact sports broadcasting into the new year.

Live sports content will become more personalised and interactive in line with growing digital consumption

In order to keep up with consumer demands and the industry shift towards OTT second-screen viewing, broadcasters are constantly looking for ways to maintain and improve audience engagement rates. One of the ways we will see this demonstrated is through more interactive and personalised content. This is essential for keeping consumers engaged and excited with what they’re viewing. One of the most effective ways this can be achieved is through the development of interactive, ‘viewer clickable’ graphics, which follows the broadcast and includes features such as player stats, live sports updates and interactive quizzes which users can participate in directly on their own screens. It’s all about delivering better viewing experiences on top of what has already been invested in OTT.

Sports broadcasting has for many years seen similar audience interactivity through the rise of social media, with viewers being able to share their thoughts on live matches and games and interact with other viewers. These experiences however, should increasingly become an integrated part of the mobile viewing experience offered to the audience. By personalising digital content, broadcasters can begin to transform the entire user experience. s

According to a recent Go-Globe report, now more than 70% of adults are using second screen devices to watch video content, with smartphones being the most popular second screens when watching TV (51%). The biggest attraction to using second screens is to get more information about the show. Still, the challenge today is that the audience has to go elsewhere to find this content. This means that there is huge potential for sports broadcasters to address this need as consumers look beyond the ‘one-for-all’ viewing experience and seek a more personalised experience. Rather than passively watching a sports match, it’s about gathering all the information these users are looking up, and making it available in real time. With these new developments in broadcast, consumers can now get more information about their favourite teams, players and leagues through their device, on top of the video stream they are already viewing.

Interactivity will enable new revenue streams

Monetisation and targeted advertising have been huge buzz words in the broadcast industry over the past year and with good reason. As traditional linear advertising is stagnating, internet advertising is growing fast, but the broadcast industry still has a long way to go. All of these trends, personalisation, interactivity and monetisation, all actually work in harmony when developed correctly. When consumers are able to interact with their content, broadcasters gain much more detailed insights into audience viewing habits. This allows them to provide more personalised and contextually relevant ads, providing a better viewing experience for the consumer and maximising monetisation potential for content owners and broadcasters. With more information being shared online than ever before, advertisers, broadcasters and content owners are being presented with a highly lucrative opportunity to monetise this content. It just needs to be offered in a format where users feel they are getting more value in return.

A shift in viewing patterns

Certainly the most disruptive change the broadcast industry has witnessed in 2018 is how quickly viewers are moving away from linear. In Norway, linear TV viewing dropped by 40% in the age group 30-39 from 2017-2018 (NRK). Watching TV is simply taking on new forms, as video is consumed across platforms and users are cutting the traditional cable in order to adopt easily available OTT services instead. It is well known that there is an undeniable shift towards viewing content on second screens, whether that be on a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. The Cross-Platform Viewing Time report recently released by IHS Markit found that linear TV viewing time has declined year on year - this is the change the industry is facing.

Still, change also creates new opportunities for the industry. While the first generation of TV simply was to watch TV, the second generation was to watch TV wherever you wanted and on any device available. The next generation will be a more engaging experience where you interact with all types of content on your own screen. By creating your own viewing experience, you participate in a wider media consumption which spans across platforms. The question going forward will be how the industry will embrace this change and leverage the digital opportunities ahead to engage their users in new ways.