Five Streaming and Social Media Takeaways From the Super Bowl

April 18, 2022

Super Bowl LVI confirmed much more than the year’s football champions. The massive event also provided a clear snapshot of the current state of streaming video and social media.

In the recent SportsPro webinar, Content Discovery in Sport: Social Media and Streaming Video Takeaways from the 2022 Super Bowl, Conviva’s Nick Cicero shares insights into ongoing streaming challenges, evolving content, and synergies to tap into.

1. Too much choice muddies the content discovery waters.

Remember channel surfing? The idea of switching from one station to the next until you find the right show feels like a relic of a bygone era.

In the streaming age, we no longer discover content by surfing channels. We just click the program we want to watch and enjoy. And yet, while there are more programming choices than ever, streaming platforms face the challenge of making their content discoverable to new audiences.

“We did a report last fall where we found that there is a serious problem with the streaming video consumer today, and that’s choice, really. There is a content discovery challenge when it comes to finding streaming content.” – Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva

In the research Conviva conducted in partnership with Dynata, they identified key ways viewers discover content. The first occurs when the platform’s algorithm recommends a title to the viewer, who decides to take a chance on a new program. The second major mode is advertising, enticing viewers to begin a new program through off-platform marketing.

If platforms want to cut through the noise, grab a viewer’s attention, and gain new subscribers, they’ll need to focus on ways to leverage these two modes of solicitation.

2. Live sports aren’t going anywhere…

The sheer amount of content to stream at any hour of the day feels pretty endless, but that doesn’t mean live sporting events have lost their relevance. In fact, live sports still draw in massive viewerships despite the innumerable alternatives.

This makes sense. There is something unmistakably exciting about watching a competition live, whether you’re at the stadium or watching from home. This can be a draw to streaming platforms, many of which now feature live sports. The challenge for these platforms, however, is retaining their audiences, even when the game isn’t on.

“Live sports continue to be important. Platforms that are heavily focused on sports are definitely going to have to lean into the live or to the VOD content to get people to come back week over week and not just tune in on Sundays and watch that sporting event.” – Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva

3. ..and they can drive viewers to your other content.

The best case scenario for streamers is to lure viewers onto their platforms to watch live sports and entice them to stay for all the other available programming.

“This is really where you get into this unique model where you have folks like NBC that are licensing content from folks like WWE. They’re taking the content like the Super Bowl and the Olympics and putting it on Peacock, and they’re using that as a means to acquire new viewers.” – Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva

This is how the top global streaming platforms are taking advantage of the year’s biggest sporting moments. By seizing these major live events, they can increase traffic to their platforms and encourage viewers to stay long after the game has ended.

Social media is a key driver of such traffic, netting in sports fans through Instagram or TikTok, and then sending these fans to the streaming service for more.

“Sports fans on social media build engaged sports fans on streaming platforms.” –  Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva

4. Video on demand content needs to evolve.

TikTok, with its focus on video, is undoubtedly dominating the social media sphere these days. It’s no surprise that Instagram has doubled-down on its own emphasis on video, with the rise of the Reels feature as well as video-based Stories. Consequently, sports teams, leagues, rightsholders, and publishers are now seeking ways to create their own compelling video content.

“The quality [of social media video] has gone up. I think we should all take inspiration from social video to think about how we populate the catalogs of content that we license and distribute to other platforms.” – Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva.

Video has become cheaper to produce and distribute, and easy-to-use software has made editing a no-brainer. As a result, just about anyone who wants to grow their following can create original video content in minutes. Short-form social media videos also act as a teaser for more in-depth content only available through a streaming platform.

“There are millions of hours of high-quality online video that you can take advantage of to build that predisposition for those viewers to actually go back onto your streaming service.” – Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva

5. Content is still king.

Live sporting events aren’t happening in a vacuum anymore. Today, viewers are using social media to engage with their favorite teams and players. Even when the game ends, commentary, conversation, and behind-the-scenes content are available at all hours through social media.

“Taking the live game out of it, I think what’s really important is the diversification of being able to tell stories in and around the game itself.” – Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva

During the Super Bowl, Conviva monitored streaming services second by second and noticed peak social media engagement during the halftime show. This trend underscores the importance of integrating social media strategies with real-time programming.

“Social and streaming are synergistic. I would encourage everybody to double down and look at how they’re creating content and social.” – Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy, Conviva

Learn more: Watch the SportsPro OTT USA webinar, Content Discovery in Sport: Social Media and Streaming Video Takeaways from the 2022 Super Bowl webinar.