Helping sports media transition to social media, the Grabyo way

  • Platform and tools allow cutting of clips to share on social media easily
  • Asia still lags, UK firm hopes to educate the market to new opportunities
Helping sports media transition to social media, the Grabyo way

VIDEO is becoming increasingly common on social media feeds. While many media organisations have woken up to this new reality, one part appears to be slightly behind the curve: Sports media.
Releasing highlight reels after a game – or worse, a day or two after the action – is no longer tenable in today’s age of instant gratification.
“[Today’s] consumers no longer tolerate that – they want to get that content as quickly as possible, and if they can’t get it from publisher X, they will go and get it from somewhere else,” says Elliot Renton, Asia Pacific representative of London-based mobile video and advertising company Grabyo.
Grabyo allows rights holders or publishers to cut short clips from a live feed and add pre-roll and post-roll advertisements or branding into the clip easily.
“This allows them to exploit that [consumer] behaviour, carve content up in an easy way, and drive engagement and audience,” says Renton, speaking to Digital News Asia (DNA) in Singapore recently.
“Either the broadcaster or rights-holder has the ability to geo-block the content or timescale it, so the issue of rights is easy to manage too,” he adds.
Grabyo has partnerships with major teams and sporting leagues such as Chelsea Football Club, the Spanish La Liga and Wimbledon, and was also named a Facebook video API partner at the recent Facebook F8 developer conference.
The company raised US$2 million funding recently in a round that included famous sports stars such as footballers Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie – all with ties to Arsenal FC – and basketball player Tony Parker.
“Sports is fundamentally a different vertical from entertainment or lifestyle – it is very much about being live, it is very much about the viewing experience,” says Renton.
“Pay-TV or watching it on the big screen is not going to go away, but what you’ll see is disruption and fragmentation on how people are consuming the content,” he adds.
Can Asia come from behind?
Helping sports media transition to social media, the Grabyo wayGrabyo entered the Asian market earlier this year, and is prepared for the long haul.
“The business will take relative soft steps in the market – [we need] to have conversations with rights-holders, broadcasters and brands,” says Renton (pic).
Some parts of the industry are a little ahead of the curve, while with others, “we will have to educate and showcase to them where the consumer is going,” he says.
“We’re showing clients what their journey will be in sports consumption and how social media is going to complement that,” he adds.
In Asia however, monetisation is geared heavily towards pay-TV, making the region a bit of a laggard – despite the fact that Asians are the world’s most heavily engaged users of social media.
“There is a distinct gap in the monetisation process in Asia; it is still behind Europe and the other markets,” says Renton.
“You have this gap between clients focused on pay-TV while their consumers are telling them, ‘Yeah, I’ll watch that on pay-TV, but I’m also doing this, this and this on these [other] platforms.’
“The gap has to narrow and Grabyo will play a part in that for our customers – but it will take time,” he adds.
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The digital/ mobile revolution: Malaysian marketers are laggards
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