The Impact of Ad-Tech on Live Sports Advertising

2024 is a huge year for live sports, with three of the most prestigious and anticipated sports events taking place. These events include the Euros (14th of June- 14th of July), the Olympics, (16th of July - 11th of August) and the Paralympics (28th of August - 8th ofSeptember), which makes for one very sports-heavy summer for broadcasters. As a result, broadcasters and media providers from across the industry are frantically exploring the ways in which content delivery and advertising might play a central role in the consumption of live sports content.

The global spending on sports media rights in 2024 is expected to reach $60.9bn, forcing broadcasters to reconsider their place in the delivery of live sports content and prioritise retaining access to the most popular live sports events. During the2020 Tokyo Games, the focus was on innovative technologies that could help protect the world while still delivering the magic of the event to viewers. Asa result, in a post-pandemic society, the broadcast and media industry has developed further in this direction, taking the innovative ideas of yesterday and future-proofing them in the face of unprecedented industry change.


Sports Consumption is Changing, And Fast


As should be expected, consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the past few years, with many younger generations and viewers switching to streaming services or short form social media platforms to consume content. In fact, it has been speculated by the recent rise of TikTok and other short form content applications that many are not only using this type of content to stay up to date on news, but they are even using it as a search engine. This has led to some interesting changes in consumer behaviour, starting with an OTT approach to live sports events that mirrors the on-demand nature of short form.

With these changes in sports consumption happening so fast, broadcasters and media providers from all across the industry are considering the ways in which they can stay relevant. A perhaps more obvious answer is through advertising, allowing for broadcasters and media providers to monetise these new pathways and keep audiences engaged whilst consuming live sports content.


Ad-Tech Developments and Opportunities


However, there are a few considerations that need to be acknowledged; as consumer behaviour is changing, so too are industry regulations and developments.

In 2023, the industry saw an unprecedented restriction in third party cookies and GDPR regulations, which as a result, introduced the concept of contextual advertising. With third party cookies no longer on the table, targeting consumers is becoming more difficult than ever, but contextual advertising offers a new approach. Paired with live sports events, this concept is potentially industry-changing. In the quest to monetise new content distribution services, contextual advertising is an opportunity for professionals to meet consumer demand while successfully monetising popular sports content.

Another potential challenge for broadcasters and media providers is targeting diverse audiences on all applicable platforms. Although the 75% of the US population that are still expected to be viewing the live sports events of 2024 through OTT and streaming services might seem like a lot, this is actually a decrease on previous years. As a result, industry professionals need to recognise the need for strong monetisation strategies across content distribution formats for this inevitable development. Contextual advertising will help in this shift, too, allowing for any manner of content to be accompanied by an appropriate advertising method that engages the viewer.


What’s Next for Ad-Tech in Live Sports?


The emergence of trending live sports events has shed light onto the developments within ad-tech and sports, and what is coming next for the industry in this area. In 2024 specifically, there have been numerous developments in the ad-tech industry that are especially transferrable to live events, particularly sports and events. One of these developments is the rise of pause ads across OTT platforms and streaming services. Pause ads operate by displaying a variety of advertising content formats while the content is paused, allowing for consumers to still experience the convenience and freedom that OTT offers. In terms of live sports events, this possibility is a very real one. With so many consumers shifting towards streaming services, providing a seamless in-video or pause advertising solution could be a more than suitable answer.

Additionally, many broadcasters and media providers are considering the potential of QR codes to create an engaging and contextual solution for live sports advertising. Consumers are rapidly changing behaviour with the rise of OTT and streaming services, consistently favouring the convenience and on-demand nature of new content distribution methods. As a result, the nature of advertising must also change, becoming more interactive and engaging in order to attract sports fans from across a myriad of content services and platforms. The shift from traditional TV to a hybrid model of OTT, streaming, pay TV and linear will inevitably change the way live sports advertising looks going forward. The streaming of the Euros, Olympics and Paralympics 2024 will undoubtedly usher in a new era of contextual advertising that changes consumer viewership even further.


Preparing for the Future of Sports Advertising


To prepare for the future of live sports advertising in the M&E industry, broadcasters and media providers need to consider a few things. As behaviours change, professionals need to change too, shifting their methods and considering the ways in which user experience and monetisation can still be achievable alongside each other. With short form content taking off and developments in interactive and contextual advertising paving the way for new opportunities, the future of sports advertising is an interesting one. Olympics and Paralympics coverage alone is expected to have more programming hours than any previous Olympics with over 5,000 hours of live coverage, with the Euros being available in both live and on-demand format.

As consumer habits continue to shift, broadcasters and media providers across the industry are still finding their way. The expected Olympics,Paralympics and Euros coverage of 2024 is guaranteed to reveal new and engaging methods of content monetisation, yet again setting the standards for more important live events to come.

To get your organisation ready for sports advertising, check out Veset AdWise to use our innovative, cloud-based solution for real-time, in-video advertising. AdWise allows for broadcasters to seamlessly integrate contextual ads into the live feed, without interrupting anything important. You can also check out Veset AdWise on AWS Marketplace.

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