Esports Central – Episode 7

They usually say that content is king, especially in a society that consumes content with every waking moment. If your content isn’t the best, what’s to stop us from scrolling straight past it onto something more interesting – NOTHING.

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That’s it! If you don’t have engaging, interesting content for people to consume, then you’re dead in this new world of social media. So once you have all the right content, and it’s engaging, how do you get it to your audience? Well if content is the king, then delivering it is the queen.

This week on Esports Central we talked about one of the key elements to the future of esports – broadcasting. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, check it out here.

First up we talked about some of the new players in the scene. There’s already Amazon’s Twitch, and Google’s YouTube, now we have Caffeine built by former Apple execs and devs, and there’s this new one I mentioned. Genvid raised US$6 million for their new platform which is set to be interactive and enhance the streamer experience in different ways.

However one thing we spoke about is in-game clients. This is where it really counts. No matter how good the broadcast platform is, if the broadcast capabilities aren’t built into the game you can’t have world-class broadcasting. It’d be like FOX Sports having all these brand new and exciting elements to watching footy, but the cameras at game aren’t good enough to capture live play. Both need to be just as good as one another to have a seamless, exciting, and consumable piece of content for your audience.

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Lots of games, like DOTA 2, have great built-in broadcasting that allows other players to watch your game as well as control the view from all angles (Photo credit: CSO)

So why does it matter so much? Can’t you just have a half decent stream and get lots of people live to watch the event? Yes, but you’ll never make as much money. Revenue from live events doesn’t come from live ticket sales, it doesn’t come from games or players buying into the competition, it doesn’t come from food, and it doesn’t come from merchandise. The bulk of revenue comes from advertising and sponsorship. Why?

Because sponsors and businesses want their brand in front of everyone’s eyeballs. The better your content and more exciting it is, the more audience members you have, the more audience members you have, the more you can charge to advertise to your audience. So that’s why broadcasting matters so much. There’s almost unlimited potential to tap into here. You can sell out a stadium, you can’t sell out a TV or live stream – sure you can hit all the screens in the world, but the scope to which you can target is way more than physically having people in the building.

So there you have it. That’s why broadcasting is so important. Many games still haven’t got it right, and some that have been around for a while could probably do with something new to spice things up. What will we see in broadcasting next? Virtual Reality? Maybe but probably only a gimmick. Augmented Reality? They are trying this out with physical sports. I think it has something to do with utilising the technology we have available to give the audience what they want. What do they want?

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Augmented Reality has been showcased in Telstra’s ‘Thrive On’ campaign. Could this be the future of streaming? (Photo credit: Mumbrella)

Well the answer is different for every person, so the future has to be personalised, it has to be tailored. Showing the audience the stats they want, the players they want, and the scenes they are interested in. Sure, there has to be some sort of balance. You can’t give them EVERYTHING they want because the viewer doesn’t always know what they want. You still have to provide the viewers with the best moves, the best stats, and the best plays, but adding a tailored experience to it wouldn’t go astray.

What do you think the future of broadcasting is? Will we see things on screens anymore, or in augmented reality? What is your ideal way to consume content? Put some comments below and I’ll try to cover them off in the next one.

In the meantime, enjoy the show, and I’ll be back later in the week to give you some insights into the Australian esports industry.

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