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How digital finger printing technology is helping the esports world improve media value

Damian Browarnik
3 min read

Thirty to fifty percent of viewed video content in sports can go untraced. How do views go untraced? Fans and non-affiliates recycle and reuse videos created by teams, leagues and organisations, by re-uploading videos themselves or creating their own highlights or mash ups to share on social media. 

“If [a fan] re-uploads a clip or a highlight of your event it is usually a good thing,” says Eyal Arad, CEO of video tracking analytics company Videocites. “If it’s getting a million views it's also a good thing, but you would never know.״

For content creators and marketing departments, that means analytics and strategy can be dramatically skewed. Videocites works with esports, traditional sports and Hollywood, tracking this video content. 

Shazam for video

“The technology is a Shazam for video,” explains Arad. “At the core of the products is a video-based search engine that uses visual properties of your content to find copies of it throughout social networks, big websites and even archives.” 

The company’s suite of products can be used for content protection and asset management, but the “other side,” the positive one as Arad refers to it, is media monitoring. 

“Until now the social platforms, other than your owned and affiliates, were kind of a wild guess,” he says. “What we provide is not only showing you how your owned channels are performing, because that's a very narrow point of view of your fans, we show you how all of your fans, all the ecosystem of your social engagement, is behaving.”

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Tracking organic content & correctly measuring media value 

Videocites’ technology uses digital fingerprints to track all views and engagement of promotional content, ads and highlights. The tech is able to identify content uploaded by fans and non-affiliates that were previously unknown, giving content creators a clearer picture of how many people viewed their content, on what channels and when. Videocites also provides a breakdown of where organic content is being distributed, and on which networks engagement is higher. These numbers can be used to compare with content uploaded to owned channels and improve content strategies. The tech also offers data in the days leading up to and post events, as well as during events, scanning the web and updating every ten minutes. This allows content teams to see if there was a specific action during the event that generated better engagement. 

“These analytics impact everything you do,” says Arad. “Every metric you have on social, including new influencers and sponsorship. This has a massive impact on esports and all other types of sports.”

Using this technology, esports content creators, whether they belong to a team, event or are an individual, can measure and prove the value they bring to sponsors by showing the full scope of social viewership and engagement. 

While Videocites analyses elements such as the size of logos and ads, time on screen, it goes even further by providing numeric proof as to how organic views and fan uploads boost sponsors' visibility. Their data shows that at times fan uploads can have as much of an impact as owned channels when it comes to brand exposure, and can be used to validate sponsorship value and determine future pricing. 

Videocites’ dashboard also provides details as to which channels - affiliates, non-affiliates, players, or fans - uploaded content that is performing well, allowing content departments to identify possible influencers to work with. They can then feed influencers better, exclusive, content that will generate more views and engagement and in turn increase awareness while improving sponsorship value.

Creating new revenue streams in the age of gaming and virtual advertisements

Videocites and the first-ever 2020 IIHF Esport Fan Championship 

In May 2020, Videocites teamed up with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to track content created during the first-ever 2020 IIHF Esport Fan Championship

“We saw fans engage with IIHF highlights coming from all sources,” says Arad about the tournament. “As long as the league was creating and pushing content to affiliates.” 

Videocites’ analytics offered IIHF insight into various elements of their social strategy, including content delivery, in-game brand visibility, live stream reach and geo communities, allowing them to re-evaluate and implement new strategies, which Arad says could lead to doubling or even tripling views and engagement for future events. 

IIHF isn’t the only one who can benefit from this technology. Media tracking can be incredibly valuable for all entities across the esports landscape, says Arad, especially those just starting out.

“It is extremely important for a rising sports trend like esports to measure and improve its fan engagement in order to leverage the momentum and build the audience and its habits and create a new state of mind.”

Infront Lab

Infront Lab uses AI-based tools to empower content creators, digital publishers and media companies to optimise on their reach, engagement, monitoring and monetisation of their assets.