This is a guest post by entrepreneur Mike Folgner
Cloud services are projected to be a $100 billion market by 2016, according to IDC, and just recently KPMG predicted a doubling of revenues over the next two years. Cloud computing is permeating most industries, even sports.
In sports, the cloud means lower production costs, the ability to broadcast content to audiences anywhere at any time, new consumer experiences, increased monetization opportunities and advanced real time analytics.
It is clear that the cloud is transforming how broadcast video content is being used and will be used in the future. Below are three ways the cloud is redefining sports broadcasting and coverage right now:
Capturing the “Did you see that?!” moment
“Michael’s jumper, Landon’s goal, Posey’s leg!” Sports conversations that used to dominate the water cooler have extended into social media. Now, through services in the cloud, fans can get a real-time sports fix anytime, anywhere with live video access to the sports coverage they want – high school, college or pro, basketball, football or golf — you name it.
Video streaming, capture, DVR, clipping, editing and distribution services in the cloud are making it possible for fans to easily share and enjoy the “Did you see that?!” moment even if they’re not physically at the game or watching it at home on TV.
One major change in the technology stack that is the widespread adoption of DVR technologies for streaming sports content. With DVR functionality, fans can go back and start watching clips or streams from wherever they want, with full event recordings available from the cloud immediately after airing live.
Another shift is the adoption of cloud editing and real time publishing. Rather than just tweeting their opinion about a play, fans can now back it up with the instant video that supports their POV, taking the conversation to an entirely new level. Sports rights holders can edit content live in the cloud and tweet key moments, post them to Facebook and send mobile phone alerts directly to smartphones so fans can immediately send out timely video clips of the game via social channels. With viewers estimated to spend one quarter of their time online on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, this enlarges the circle for the sports conversation and, combined with cloud DVR viewing, can drive meaningful tune-in and revenue from live and on-demand sports programming.
Making it less expensive to produce high quality video content
The cloud is lowering production costs for high quality video content by streamlining video editing and distribution workflows. Organizations of all sizes can now quickly and easily produce and deploy professional grade cloud-based live video streaming and editing – to deliver content instantly across the web, mobile and social networks at a fraction of the cost. Your entire video production workflow can be easily managed in real-time from any location– a process that took days in the past.
Lowering production costs increases the supply of content. As the content continues to grow, it will become more important to ensure that people can find this content, watch it easily at their convenience and share it in the way they want.
Creating new revenue streams and rights agreements
Not surprisingly, the increased content being developed is expanding the inventory for advertising and subscription services, generating new revenue opportunities for content owners.
As these opportunities have expanded, companies are now pursuing new rights agreements for content, such as rights for real-time game highlights on Twitter or mobile devices. This is also extending to areas of sports such as youth sports, Olympic and college sports that previously either had no rights agreements or had not made use of the agreements in place. ESPN already licenses the Little League World Series, we are not far away from a world where most high school and youth games are streamed under some rights agreement. These rights have to be managed and centralized cloud services reduce those management costs.
One key to fully leveraging rights agreements is syndication. Through instant syndication of video clips in the cloud, broadcasters can easily monitor and track the usage of their video content, wherever it’s distributed. They can ensure that traffic on social media is captured and linked into these experiences, increasing audience engagement and tune-in for their content.
For sports coverage, the future is cloud
From the most prominent sports events organizers and programmers, including FOX Sports, Pac-12 Enterprises, the Big West and the Tennis Channel to high school and youth production companies including PlayOn Sports and FOX’s Prep Zone, Sports companies are already using the cloud to implement new forms of sports viewing, expand their audience and increase revenue.
With opportunities abounding, the future of the cloud and sports coverage is certain to be entwined as fans look to video for new ways to enjoy the game and amplify the conversation.
Mike Folgner is the founder and CEO of SnappyTV, a live social video platform for streaming video and sharing clips from live television and internet streams with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Mike’s career has been at the intersection of technology and media.
Prior to founding SnappyTV, Mike was the General Manager of Video at Yahoo! after his first company Jumpcut was acquired by Yahoo! in 2006 and worked for 4 years at OpenTV, the leading provider of digital set top box software. Mike has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and operations research from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford’s graduate school of business.
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