Short-form Sports Video is Essential as Fans’ Viewing Behavior Shifts

While the pandemic has altered our way of life in so many ways, its effect on one of our most treasured pastimes - sports - has been nothing short of drastic. We have witnessed college sports careers cut short, seasons cancelled, games postponed and rosters affected week-in and week-out.

As we reflect on one of the most unique and challenging years in sports, there’s a trend that has persisted and it cannot be ignored. The sports video market has seen a steady shift in viewing behavior as fans continually look to satisfy their appetite for sports by seeking out snackable video content, wherever and whenever it suits them. In fact… according to Two Circles:

  • In 2019, the average sports fan only viewed live content 55% of the time, a number that is on a downward trend looking ahead.
  • The rate of growth from highlights rights will outstrip that of live rights over the next five years.

With these statistics in mind, it’s likely that fan engagement with sports content will mirror traditional media, where the table stakes are quick bytes of relevant, personalized content, refreshed on a regular basis. As live game attendance trends downward and fans’ consumption behavior continues to shift, university athletic departments need to be squarely focused on ensuring the fan experience they provide adapts accordingly

So, what steps should athletic departments take?

It is crucial to ramp up the development of short-form video - across all sports - and to develop an effective distribution strategy that can be implemented as athletics normalize. The demand for short-form video is only increasing, and as the primary content creators and curators, athletic departments need to be prepared to put relevant, personalized content at fans’ fingertips.

The core mission should be to create and distribute content that’s reflective of the entire student-athlete community. Simply put, if athletic departments expect to deepen fan engagement, content offerings must reflect the diversity and uniqueness of each individual fan.

By leveraging short-form video effectively, athletic departments will encourage sustained viewership and traffic on their digital channels - resulting in incremental revenue, more successful and impactful recruiting, and higher levels of engagement and fan adoption.

At WePlayed Sports, we’re proud to provide athletic departments with the short-form video technology they need to meet the shifting demands of fans. With our platform, they are better equipped to intelligently curate diverse libraries of short-form sports video content that can be seamlessly distributed, no matter when or where fans want to consume it.