Amazon have purchased the rights to show the Premier League. What does this mean to media?

Date posted: 16 Jul 2018

Posted by: Smithfield

Post category: News

American giant Amazon has broken the stranglehold of Sky and BT and announced its introduction into football with a package of 20 Premier League matches to be live-streamed solely from the Amazon Prime platform. While this might come as a surprise to football fans, the company saw off competition from the likes of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook for the right to broadcast these games. So, what does the news mean for consumers, advertisers, media planners and Amazon itself?

The consumer factor
This move into streaming services and exclusively online platforms has been a long time coming, with Amazon already holding the rights to stream the NFL, a package they won earlier in the year. The way that we consume media has changed in the last few years, with streaming services becoming a part in consumers everyday lives. It could be considered that Amazon is simply following this trail of evolution, and capitalising on the new ways in which people choose to consume their entertainment.

But with a giant business with hands in so many pies, it will be difficult for consumers to escape Amazon’s global ecommerce platform. Those who wish to watch all televised Premier League games will require subscriptions to three separate services, which quickly adds up in terms of cost. Amazon itself bundles its video service with its Prime membership, encouraging purchases through its platform with free shipping, as well as competitive pricing.

It could be argued that this will directly affect the way consumers make their purchase choices in addition to how they watch media, with the added incentive of a better shopping experience rolled up in their subscription to the media they want to see. At the moment, it’s not clear how this combination of shopping and watching will affect Prime Membership numbers, and even how it will relate to advertising and the way promotional materials and content is distributed. But whatever happens it will impact on consumer choice and their decision making.

What this means for Amazon
For Amazon, this new addition to Prime is all about the longevity; encouraging those who are likely to try Prime on trial but not continue after the first month to stick around for longer and make the most of Amazon’s multiple services. The Premier League season spans many months, and, as such, a trial period just won’t cut it if you want to watch every game of the season, making Prime a must-have for diehard football fans. Not only does this ensure they’re gaining more Prime Subscribers, it also gives them the opportunity to add on extra services and deliver increased revenue to their business – Prime Members, on average, spend double that of a non-prime member.

Other platforms, like YouTube, are already warming up to the concept of paid ‘subscriptions’, though in most cases they offer videos and content for free, with these monthly costs providing added bonuses and incentives. Amazon’s Prime concept is a cross between its free-to-view Twitch service – with extra add-ons such as Kindle Unlimited or Audible available for an extra cost – but is comparable to Netflix or NowTV, with its pay-locked content. 

Not only is this of huge advantage to the Amazon Media Group, as it brings in live sports, it will enable them to deliver performance results directly linked to their sales platform. This will give them a foothold that other media owners cannot offer and gives them increasing power over the likes of Google and Facebook, making them more attractive to brand’s advertising budgets.

The new challenges to brands
When it comes to those involved in the world of advertising, Amazon’s latest acquisition will streamline some sales processes but complicate others. There will be added incentive for brands to use Amazon’s own ecosystem to create a smoother and more efficient purchasing process, in order to enhance the customer’s journey and make the decision process from the first view to final purchase that much easier. This isn’t anything new when it comes to advertising, though, but it gives Amazon a credible story to take more share of client’s advertising budgets.

Because of this purchase, the natural progression for advertisers is to turn to Amazon’s Prime service for the effective sale of products. It’s in Amazon’s best interests to advertise its products and services, something already enacted when it comes to anything from Kindle eBooks to existing Prime video series. With more people than ever using phones, tablets and laptops to view online streaming services, it makes sense to be able to advertise something you can purchase directly – a system YouTube is already taking advantage of with its hosted videos.

A renewed need for rigorous media planning
How does this new way to view football affect media planners? In the simplest terms, Amazon Prime video is another channel to consider, and definitely not something that should be undervalued. It takes us back to the importance of putting real rigour into your planning process, to make sure that you really know your audience, know what your focus is as a business, and what experience your customers will want to receive from a brand new viewing platform.

It’s worth considering the existing habits of those who use streaming platforms, and, married with the more old-school sports pay gate systems, it’s possible to have a more informed overview as to what will be effective, and what you’ll be competing against. For Premier League football, this departure from the norm could be a sign of future things to come for football – and keeping up with the times has never been more essential to planning effectively, and working to deliver performance to clients.

Key things to consider

  • 1. This is still new, Amazon will be approaching clients and agencies to sell this solution in. It might well be too early to consider this as another media channel, however there could be some deals and opportunities to be had to create a seamless customer journey.
  • 2. Whatever you do, Amazon is not going to go away. Do look at your eCommerce strategy and identify potential opportunities and risks of not changing your approach.

This is just one of the many discussion we are having at Smithfield. We are always looking at what is happening, how it can impact our clients to make sure that we can help deliver them the performance now but also in the future. Get in touch with us today to discuss how our business can make your investments even more effective.

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