The past decade has seen an incredible transformation in what may best be described as entertainment-on-our-own-terms. From smartphones and tablets to time-delayed DVRs to digital music and video services to streaming of live programming, the trend in innovation has been to give consumers almost unlimited entertainment choice on what, when and where. Phrases like unbundled, cord cutter and over-the-top have entered the media and entertainment vernacular as companies engage in hand-to-hand combat to capture eyeballs and a share of the new consumer wallet.
Sports entertainment has experienced its own unique transformation with the explosion in ancillary content wrapped around the live sporting events. Social media, fantasy sports, digital-only content properties like Bleacher Report, and specialized programming like NFL Red Zone have all served to draw more overall interest to sports. But this hasn’t always translated to higher consumption of the actual games. Our media partners refer to this effect as the 4-minute fan challenge. They have more viewers for most of their sports programming than ever before; the viewers are just watching less, because stats, highlights and commentary are widely available on their own terms.
Viewed through this lens, the question becomes, “How do you bring the consumer back to the live event, the live game, where we are asking them to consume content on our terms?”. This is an important question for media companies, leagues and teams as the variety and flexibility of entertainment choices only continues to grow.
At FanBeat we believe there’s a clear answer: You make the viewers, the sports fans, part of the game. FanBeat is making it a reality for live sporting events, while innovators like HQ Trivia are making it a reality for other types of live events like their special ‘The Voice’ game back in May.
Across our programs, we’ve demonstrated that fans playing-along on FanBeat watch 80-120% more of the live event because now they have a stake in the action. And with the imminent changes in sports gambling laws, Live-Action Gaming becomes even more interesting and exciting to American adults as free-play-for-prizes yields to pay-to-play-for-cash. FanBeat gives our player our player community a chance to “predict and win”. Here’s a prediction of our own. Live-Action Gaming is on its way to sports venue and living rooms around the country.