Hot on the heels of one of the world’s most-watched sporting events—the Super Bowl—comes the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
While multivenue, multievent contests such as the Olympics were once considered to be “appointment television,” today’s social media networks, online news updates, and—quite especially—mobile digital video make that concept seem as old as wooden skis. Sports viewing is clearly fueling video growth across all screens.
It has been 18 months since the London Olympic Summer Games, and consumers are watching content on more device types and platforms than ever before. This year, starting with the Sochi Winter Games, viewers are going to capitalize on these opportunities, accessing the competitions via gaming consoles, Roku, tablets, phones, smart TVs, and, perhaps in the future, Google Glass.
To find out more about this trend, Adobe Digital Index (ADI) analyzed 22.5 billion online video starts and 574 million authenticated streams (TV Everywhere, or TVE) and asked 400 U.S. sports viewers about their new viewing habits. The result is the “U.S. Digital Video Benchmark Report” (PDF) for 2013’s fourth quarter, which provides a full picture of all of the digital access points for online video. The trends outlined in this report clearly demonstrate that sports viewing is the engine behind digital video growth and, because 2014 will have several multievent contests, ADI expects digital video consumption to grow five to 10 times year-over-year (YOY).
Gaming Consoles, Android Take The Podium
Sporting events such as the Olympics, the World Cup, or “March Madness” offer too many matches to fit into traditional broadcast schedules. In the past, of course, viewers were limited by the programming schedule and what was shown during prime time, as broadcasters viciously edited content, leaving most footage on the cutting-room floor.
Today, however, media companies can deliver live and on-demand content online and monetize it with dynamically inserted ads. ADI data indicates that nearly half of all of these TVE streams are running on Apple devices, and the number of Android devices accessing TVE content has doubled. The use of gaming consoles for TVE content, however, is growing the fastest, up three times YOY (from 1% to 3%). Sports streaming accounts for nearly 40% of TVE viewing.