The NFL is going digital! “NFL Now”, which launches this coming summer, will deliver “personalized video streams” featuring highlights, content from each of the 32 teams and more to viewers. One can expect this announcement to initiate an advertising feeding frenzy given that “the appetite for NFL content is borderline insatiable” said Brian Rolapp, the COO of NFL Media.
Aside from the high premium that NFL content commands, the online video space in general is an advertising goldmine. Over 52 billion content videos and 35 billion video ads were viewed in the month of December (2013) alone. To put these dizzying numbers in perspective, only 38.7 billion content videos and 11.3 billion video ads were viewed in December of 2012. Not only are more people watching more video, but they’re watching a higher proportion of advertised content. In fact more than 40% of all spots watched were ads.
NFL Now will also be incredibly valuable for the teams to further their own branding efforts. Branded content sharing figures have grown immensely in the past decade or so—people now share branded videos 50 times more than they did in 2006. The top three videos in 2013 were shared a cumulative 11.6 million times. Compare that to the meager 244,395 shares the top three videos in 2006 garnered and you’ll see that owned and earned media are knocking paid media out of the park.
The combination of premium content and the visibility that online video affords has brands scrambling for a piece of the pie—Yahoo, Microsoft, Gillette and Verizon are already on board as partners.