Live video is set to take the gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. While the Olympics have been livestreamed for years, the rise of mobile video consumption and the dramatic growth of video streaming are making this the first Olympics where livestreamed content could really go mainstream.
With the broad availability of livestreaming on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, we expect athletes and visitors to broadcast plenty of live video, providing a unique behind-the-scenes look at the Olympics that didn’t exist four years ago. For consumers, this means easier access to Olympics content, whether at home or on the go, and more options to watch parallel competitions or background content.
The increase of livestreaming content means marketers have an opportunity to get in front of a more selective audience, both in terms of volume and granularity. As the amount of Olympics video content increases, the subsequent increase in ad inventory will also make targeting a specific audience easier (and likely less expensive). Because so many events are available online in parallel, marketers are better able to reach fans of a particular sport, or even fans of an individual athlete, with tremendous precision.
As the primary rights holder in the U.S., NBC has parceled out streaming rights selectively, while keeping the main streaming events on its own website. Both Facebook and Snapchat signed deals to publish curated highlight videos of Olympics content, though neither have livestreaming rights. Highlight videos are also published by the International Olympic Committee on its YouTube channel.
While Twitter doesn’t have a livestreaming deal for Olympics content, it’s partnering with NBC to livestream NFL games this fall. Twitter’s live sports push is its best chance at staying relevant and gaining marketshare in video — it’s already the go-to platform for advertisers who want to capture viewer attention during an event, so extending this to live video streaming is a logical next step.
The Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio are making livestreaming accessible to a mainstream audience, and showcasing the medium’s advertising potential in the process. How have you been following your favorite Olympians this summer?
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