Coming off the back of the claim it is the top digital sports venue, ESPN has updated its Now apps with a number of new features, indicators of where ESPN is headed in the future.
“The main platforms that we’re investing in are mobile and video, that is certainly where we’re making investments this year and next,” Lance Peatey, director digital partnerships for ESNP, told B&T.
ESPN has also partnered with data management platform, Lotame, to take it to “the next level” in order to further understand its audience and to create content more specifically targeted to its audience.
A number of changes also mark the major upgrade to the apps, such as the names where the NRL app is called League Now and the AFL app renamed Footy Now.
“The core part of the apps is actually built around live scores so while they are a part of the Footy Tips acquisition that ESPN did about two years ago now, they represent a very different kind of product compared to Footy Tips,” Peatey said, adding how ESPN wants the apps to move away from purely footy tipping to more live score information.
“One of the things that we really want to accelerate is making sure these Apps work really well for both iOS and adroid users,” Peatey said.
“By way of changes, fundamentally a lot more connected with social and social aggregation around matches and leagues and teams etc. and the other major feature is video. Video is supported through all of these apps.
“We’ve built algorithms in the background…if we know an app user based on their footy tips registration, because they can link straight to their footy tips registration when they sign into footy tips, if we know that user is using the app and we know that they’re a Carlton fan in the AFL, then the video that we will serve up to them will be the most recent Carlton video or one that’s most suited to them.
“Of our 725,000 plus registered users on footy tips, we have lots of data on them right down to their favourite teams.”
Focusing more on mobile and video for the coming years, the latest results from ESPN showed mobile visits increased 24% globally from 2012 and video seeing a growth of 15% year on year.
In Australia and New Zealand mobile saw a massive leap of 74% from 2012 and a 103% bound year on year.
With the acquisition of cricket website, cricinfo, the digital strength of ESPN has increased as the cricket website remained the number one website for globally for cricket information.
Regarding video and mobile for cricinfo ESPN registered 27.5 million total online video starts in 2013, an increase of 80% compared to 2012.