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Striking a balance between fan engagement and generating revenue on your OTT

Asaf Navon
2 min read

Thinking of launching your own Over-the-Top (OTT) sports channel? It's a fantastic way to connect directly with fans and open up new revenue streams. But here's the catch: finding that delicate balance between keeping your fans happy and engaged and creating new revenue streams. This article will be your game plan, showing you how to correctly monetise your content without turning off your most loyal supporters.

Know your fans inside and out

Before diving headfirst into monetisation tactics, you need to understand your audience like the back of your hand. What are they watching? When are they tuning in? Who are they and where are they from? This intel will help you tailor your content and subscription strategies to fit them perfectly, making their viewing experience top-notch and boosting your revenue at the same time.

Monetisation models: your playbook for profit

  • Subscriptions: This is a classic OTT tactic, and for good reason. Offer different tiers like a basic plan with live games, or a premium option with exclusive behind-the-scenes content, interviews, and match archives from years gone by. That way, you get a steady income stream while keeping the platform accessible to everyone.
  • Pay-per-view (PPV) and event passes: Got a championship game or a mega match coming up? Consider a PPV option. It lets non-subscribers access the big stuff for a premium, which can boost your coffers. Event passes are also a great way to attract casual viewers who might not be interested in a full subscription.
  • Ad-supported content: Ads are a win-win. You improve your revenues and fans get free content. But the key is to keep it smooth. Don't bombard viewers with intrusive ads. Instead, use formats that don't get in the way and schedule them for natural breaks, like halftime and timeouts. That way you keep your fans engaged and happy.

Sponsorships: teaming up for success

Partnering with brands for sponsorships can be a goldmine. The trick is to integrate them seamlessly into the experience, adding value for fans. Imagine a tech company sponsoring instant replays or cool stats – it enhances the broadcast without feeling like a blatant sales pitch.

Merchandising: showcase your swag

Use your platform to showcase official merchandise. This could be interactive ads displayed during streams or exclusive subscriber offers. This makes it easy for fans to grab jerseys, caps, and all sorts of team gear, all within the platform they already love.

For smaller leagues or community-driven sports, consider donations or crowdfunding. This lets fans directly support their favorite teams. It's a great way to raise funds and foster a strong sense of community among viewers.

Tasteful monetisation strategies

Remember, happy fans keep coming back for more and more often than not, spend more. Here's how to ensure your monetisation efforts don't come at the expense of a great viewing experience:

  • Personalisation: Data can be your friend. Use it to suggest content, alerts, and notifications tailored to individual fans. This makes them feel valued and more likely to appreciate the monetised aspects of your platform.
  • Quality over quantity: When it comes to ads and sponsorships, be picky. Choose partners that resonate with your audience and offer products or services they'd genuinely use.
  • Dynamic pricing: Experiment with flexible pricing for subscriptions and PPV events based on demand, time of day, and other factors. This can help maximise revenue while still attracting a wider audience.
  • Fan-first: Stay active on social media and other platforms where fans hang out. Use these interactions to gather feedback – it's invaluable for fine-tuning both your content and monetisation strategies.
  • Transparency is Key: Be open about how revenue helps you provide quality content. This builds trust with your viewers and makes them more likely to support your monetised offerings.

The bottom line? Your OTT sports channel should be profitable, but that shouldn't come at the expense of your fans. By choosing and balancing the right monetisation strategies you can create a winning formula that keeps fans engaged and your business booming for years to come. 

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