Discovery Communications is taking a mobile-centric approach to producing and localizing the Olympics content, which it owns the exclusive TV and multimedia rights to in 50 European markets. At a press event at the Mobile World Congress, the company revealed it is planning to team up with local mobile providers, who will serve as the official mobile broadcasters of the Summer and Winter Olympics games. Discovery believes this will enable it to provide viewers with the most relevant content and access a “personalized, direct link” with consumers. It also provides Discovery with more data on local interests and media habits, particularly on mobile, that can further inform its ad operations.
What Brands Need To Do
This is an interesting approach that many international brands can adopt to creating and distributing localized content at a global scale. The proliferation of mobile access has given rise to several global mega-channels, such as YouTube and Twitch, that can reach audiences worldwide in ways that traditional media channels can’t. They offer brands new platforms to reach global consumers, but brands still need to localize their messaging and content to engage with customers in each regional market. Therefore, whether for distributing owned content or advertisements, globally-minded brands need to choose partners who can leverage their scale and local expertise to effectively reach consumers.
Livestreaming and 360-degree video have been gaining momentum among sports broadcasters and brand sponsors, and broadcasters and sponsors of the just-completed Rio Olympics were no exception. BBC created 100 hours of 360-degree video content to showcase the action from Rio, which is accessible through the BBC Sport 360 app for iOS, Android, and Samsung’s Gear VR headset. Brands such as Visa, Samsung, and automaker Lincoln worked with publishers to create Rio-themed 360-degree videos to engage the Olympics audience via their sites.
Some brands are also finding success using livestreaming to connect with Olympics viewers. GE, for example, created a series of Facebook Live video interviews of GE scientists who helped build the infrastructure for the Rio Games. Bradesco, the Brazilian bank, also used Facebook Live video in combination with Facebook Canvas and other video ads to follow the Olympic torch relay.
What Brands Need To Do
Both 360-degree video and live video provide new ways for brands to connect with their audiences. The immersion and immediacy they bring to sports make them ideal video formats for media owners and brands to explore. As both formats continue to gain momentum among consumers, brands need to start working with content creators today to produce branded 360-degree and/or live video content.
Sources: AdAge & AdWeek
Facebook has scored an exclusive content deal with NBC for the upcoming Summer Olympics. NBC will share highlight clips and recaps of the Games each day via its Facebook Page and Instagram account. NBC will also be using Facebook Live to stream some interviews with athletes and commentators, but it won’t be broadcasting any live footage of the Games on Facebook.
This is not the first time NBC has turned to Facebook for amplifying its Olympics content – the two companies also teamed up for the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. And despite getting some exclusive content from NBC, Facebook is not the only social channel the peacock network will be using this year as NBC struck a partnership with Snapchat in April to distribute Olympics-related content via a pop-up Discovery channel and custom Live Stories.
Why Brands Should Care
This is a major score for Facebook as it continues to build out its video products in a bid to attract more ad dollars. Although Facebook has yet to introduce any ad product for its Live video or announce any sponsorship opportunity surrounding the Olympics content, this content initiative adds to Facebook’s growing video content. As Facebook continues its efforts to attract more video viewers, early-adopting brands such as Popeyes and Birchbox have been hosting live events on Facebook to engage with fans. Brands should consider trying their hands at live streaming so as to connect with an online audience in real time.
Ever wanted a more immersive way to watch the Olympics? Well, you’re in luck. On Thursday, NBC announced that it will broadcast 85 hours of virtual reality video during the upcoming Rio Olympics. The VR content will include the opening and closing ceremonies as well as a variety of games, such as gymnastics, track and field, and fencing. Partnering with Samsung, NBC’s VR coverage will be available to owners of compatible Samsung smartphones and Gear VR headsets. No support for other VR headsets or video platforms were announced at the moment.
What Brands Need To Do
This VR initiative from NBC marks the first large-scale VR content at a global event of this magnitude, albeit with limited availability. Sports are a natural match for VR viewing, and this coverage can entice more mainstream consumers to seek out VR experiences. As more and more media companies start exploring VR and 360-degree video content to attract and engage with the audience, brands should follow the lead and start developing branded VR content.
The Lab currently has four VR headsets — an Oculus Rift, an HTC Vive, and two Samsung Gear VRs — all ready for demo. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood, so come by the Lab and ask for a VR demo to get a hands-on experience and find out why consumers would be excited by this technology.
On Friday, Snapchat scored a non-exclusive deal with NBC to show highlights from the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, marking the first time the U.S. network has agreed to publish video content of the Olympics off its own digital properties. Snapchat will set up a dedicated Live Stories channel in its app to showcase content created by NBC as well as the athletes and fans on the scene. It will also work with BuzzFeed to curate short clips and behind-the-scenes content from the games in Rio for the publisher’s Snapchat Discover channel.
Why Brands Should Care
With this deal, Snapchat takes another firm step toward establishing itself as a mobile video platform. Earlier this week, the company said that its app now has 10 billion video views each day, up from 8 billion per day in February. On the other hand, NBC no doubt wants to leverage Snapchat’s popularity among teens and young adults to expand the reach of its Olympics content. Given that both Live Stories and Discover channels feature ads, brands now have another reason to advertise on Snapchat to reach the app’s young users.
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