In the next ten years, more than 50% of audiovisual revenue will arrive through over-the-top (OTT) streaming services. That’s the opinion of Jose Carlos Franco, managing director of LaLiga’s business intelligence and analytics department, who was presenting the competition’s international data strategy at the SportsPro OTT Summit in Madrid.
With such a dramatic shift in the broadcast landscape, rights holders will have to become experts in this new technology, which is why LaLiga became the first major football competition to develop its own OTT service, LaLigaSportsTV.
But doing so does not just represent a new platform to show live sport. As Franco explained, the world of OTT offers an enormous opportunity for data analysis, helping competitions to understand their fans better and build new followings across the world.
“We ask two questions in our department. Who are our fans and how do they behave?” Franco said. “With our OTT platform, we are perfectly positioned to develop better knowledge of our users and how they consume sport, which can then be used to grow our audience.”
LaLigaSportsTV is a multi-channel platform that was created to provide coverage of less-mainstream Spanish sports, rather than broadcast LaLiga matches. In its first year, the service has streamed 1,145 live events and provided on-demand coverage from 35 different sports across smartphone, tablet, PC and Smart TV environments. In this time, it has accumulated 410,000 registered users.
To Franco, each of these users provides a unique data footprint that can help LaLiga to improve its offering. “We have designed dashboards that show the location of every user, how many times they use the app per week, which sports they follow, how long they watch and which device they use,” he explained, adding that all information is strictly anonymised.
“By sharing this insight with our marketing teams, we can then send notifications or recommendations for a specific match, TV service or event. This has been very effective.”
Part of a larger ecosystem
Crucially, data from the OTT platform is combined with data from LaLiga’s many other digital platforms, including its website, mobile applications or games, in a single data lake. This allows for the team to analyse a much broader range of fan behaviours and use data-driven marketing to make a wider variety of relevant offers.
“Analysing all of our data sources together gives us a 360-degree view of the fan,” Franco added. “The sports you choose on the OTT service, the games you play on your mobile, the team you follow in LaLiga, all form a picture of what kind of content you want to receive. This multiplies the amount of relevant and timely offers we can make, which creates much more room for growth.”
One of the new methods for making these offers is programmatic advertising. Using the fan data that has been accumulated, LaLiga produces new online articles, in partnership with a range of top media outlets, about topics that fans are showing an interest in.
By pushing these articles to specific groups of users, with relevant advertisements included (for example, downloading the LaLigaSportsTV app), LaLiga is significantly increasing conversion rates and growing its registered user base organically.
“Technology and data are fundamental to business growth,” Franco concluded. “But the depth of analysis is all important. The more personalised you can be, the more receptive people will be to the offer you are making and the better your chances for long-term success.”