YouTube has emerged as the most popular social app for viewing sports highlights. Ring Digital’s Fall 2020 #FutureOfTV Survey shows 53 per cent used it on a regular basis versus only 45 per cent using Facebook.
Most social media platforms rose substantially in viewership since the last survey I 2017, with YouTube rising by 10 per cent, and Instagram rising by 13 per cent. Facebook fell by 18 per cent. Brian Ring, Principal Analyst of Ring Digital llc and producer of the FutureOfTV.Live, said the data shows that social media is still King for sports videos highlights. He pointed out tha the popular destinations have shifted dramatically. “The good news for the TV ecosystem is that the TV networks are still in the game, at least, to monetize premium sports highlights. League apps have lost ground. Rights holders concerned about re-balancing the dominance and economics of Social Media will see this data as a call-to-action to re-balance content strategies.”
Art Raymond, Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Levels Beyond, described the data as insightful for their sports media and corporate studio customers. Raymond said it shows how critical it is to build a robust content strategy, not just for social media but for owned-and-operated digital services. “YouTube and Facebook are still important, but now so is Instagram and TikTok, Reddit and Twitter,” he said. “TikTok didn’t even exist in 2017. But you need to tailor content to each platform. For example, the data shows that TikTok shews female, whereas Reddit skews male. This is why customers are investing in new hybrid cloud video creation workflows. They need high volume, rapid turn-around content, and different versions for every platform.”
Moreover, VP Pete Scott of Turner Sports at a recent SportsPro Media conference suggested that video highlights will be more valuable than live rights as the industry adapts. The report estimates the US total addressable market for direct-to-consumer monetization of sports highlights is worth $2.7 to $4.5 billion. Ring said only a few companies have seized upon the opportunity to build super-premium, personalized highlights experiences. “The window is still open, but it will not remain so forever.”