Media & Services > Wireless Media Blog

Sports hit a home run while others strike out

by Nitesh Patel | 6月 23, 2010

The iPhone launched in mid 2007. Apps launched in mid 2008. Hulu is still not on the iPhone – or any other mobile platform for that matter. While some content owners have finally dipped their toes into the proverbial mobile waters - as ABC has done with the iPad - mainstream content owners continue to ponder their next move. Sports however continue to dominate.

I initially analyzed the success of sports in the report, March Gladness. Since publication, the Baseball season has started, Hockey and Basketball have completed playoff runs, the World Cup launched into full swing, and Golf’s Masters and US Open have all made their way to the mobile device.

And sports continue to dominate:

  • As of April, ESPN’s Scorecenter application has been downloaded more than 5 million times
  • More than 1.2 million people downloaded NBC’s Olympic application in the US
  • The FIFA World Cup App game ($2.99) was the #2 app on June 16
  • ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup game was the #3 and #10 on June 16 and 9 respectively
  • The US Open’s mobile site recorded 1.7M visits during the championship, an increase of 518%
  • Allot Communications announced that its data showed a 26% increase in mobile broadband usage during the first 10 days of the World Cup

So, how can other content owners get off the mobile sidelines? By learning the following lessons:

  1. Timely content is important. Whether it be a TV show that aired the previous night that a fan wants to catch-up on during a commute or a live press conference content needs to be available when a user wants it,
  2. Provide an additive experience to TV. One could argue that video would drive interest in mobile sports but other information such as in depth stats, tracking information, and scores are integral to the experience as well and often times drive snacking behavior. In fact, focusing offering context beyond video will lead to a compelling second screen experience for fans while watching TV.
  3. Release in various forms. Apps are a component of the go to market strategy but not the entirety. The mobile web is integral. Supporting all platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and Palm) is also imperative. Leveraging excitement into other apps such as games can turn into additional revenue.

Overall, it is imperative that content owners begin to do more than just experiment with distributing content on the mobile device. Sports have trail blazed a path of success that other content owners can follow. But they have to step up to the plate or risk users finding their content from alternative channels.

-Josh Martin

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