Monetizing passions: the secrets, risks, and opportunities


by Carlo de Marchis and Editorial Staff

During the recent SportsPro OTT Summit, our Group Chief Evangelist, Carlo de Marchis, moderated a panel focusing on social disruptors. There, he explored the concept of “monetizing passions” – read on as he explains why it’s never been more vital to get right


by Carlo de Marchis and Editorial Staff

During the recent SportsPro OTT Summit, our Group Chief Evangelist, Carlo de Marchis, moderated a panel focusing on social disruptors. There, he explored the concept of “monetizing passions” – read on as he explains why it’s never been more vital to get right

#1. What do you mean by “monetizing passions”?

We are in the business of enabling and monetizing passions – and that’s a good business to be in today. People/fans are bombarded with content offerings on a variety of platforms, and they will decide to spend their precious time and money on their passions more than anything else.

But, in the current landscape, passions and how they are consumed evolve continuously – and faster than in the past. The digital and social revolution has been at the core of this transformation.

Monetization is evolving too, and disrupting businesses on its way – from mostly ad-supported B2B models to direct to consumer.

Everybody has to leverage multiple revenue streams to stay competitive. Let’s see how sports properties, media companies, platforms, and suppliers like us, navigate this shift.

#2. Why the word "passion"?

I wanted to find a term that was wider than sport and entertainment. Whatever evolutions happen within the industries we are in within the next 10 years, that word cannot be disrupted.

#3. Are passions evolving more quickly than in the past?

Yes, they are. It comes from a combination of aspects: more content is readily available, content is becoming more and more global, the consumption of content has changed significantly, discovering new content is easier, and the central role of celebrity has shifted the focus to the individual.

In the past, we had top hits lists for music and movies, now everything is constantly rated and measured and we’re exposed in real time to what is more popular worldwide or locally.

People often feel defined by their passions, and in a world where sharing has become the way to position yourself in your ecosystem, sharing your passions is a way to show who you are.

#4. How can sport and media companies and properties take advantage of this?

Traditional B2B ways of monetizing sport and entertainment are under attack due to a combination of factors, including changing user behaviors and spending habits as well as new non-traditional players entering the media industry. It’s a time when media companies and content owners must leverage multiple revenue streams in order to get ahead.

When it comes to sports properties and content owners, they have a wide portfolio of options available to them – from licensing content to broadcasters to going direct to consumer. I believe that at this time, the question is how much they will focus on each – and not which one alone.

They also have to understand that new revenue models may not be immediately as profitable as the old ones, and they have to become more open to what their audience/fans are interested in beyond their core value proposition. We’re already seeing examples from leagues and clubs that enter other territories, including esports, music, fashion, etc.

They need to know their fans and what they like, how they like it, and why they like it – then they need to learn to super-serve them. Plus, they must understand that fans are shifting from one passion to another very fluidly, and don’t behave or think in silos. Ultimately, this will benefit them also in the B2B space as they will have more insight into the way their buyers’ businesses work.

Looking to media companies, they have to focus on the audience they want to target first, and define which content and which model will make it sustainable and could have the best potential to grow. A great example is Discovery, which has chosen to focus deeply on audience verticals based on their passions, like golf, food, travel, etc. New entrants both from big platforms and new alternative content creators are challenging the status quo.

#5. What role does social media play in enabling and monetizing passion?

This whole revolution started with digital (owned and operated websites and apps) but exploded with social. Enabling passion is at the core of social. You can so easily discover, live, nurture, and showcase passions across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

When it comes to monetizing, we’re only at the beginning. Only very high volume creators can monetize significantly, and figuring out how to get there is a big challenge.

#6. Are there any risks?

Yes of course, for sports properties and content owners, media rights value is becoming more and more unequal. As the top rise, the long tail staggers. Also, going to direct to consumer is not something you learn in a day, it’s a mindset shift that has profound organizational impacts. Plus, the relevance of your sport and content may be under attack from different sources not in the same vertical – except esport versus sport where many people spend more time on the game Fortnite than playing traditional football.

And when it comes to media companies, they need to consider whether they can monetize an increasing and continuous spend on rights. Plus, what monetization mix will be the right one? Will fans consuming more and more short format content be willing to pay for it? Can they beat the big social/ecommerce platforms when they make playing in this field front and center?

#7. Why is Deltatre best placed to respond to this transformation?

With our client roster, our size, our proven capability to scale horizontally to new verticals, and our offering – which has now expanded to entertainment, we are in a great position for the next 10 years. We can evolve with the markets and very often anticipate trends.

Looking to the future, I expect there to be a combination of deeply focused offerings for fans’ real passions and bundle offerings for the rest.

What do you think? Join the conversation over on Twitter or LinkedIn at @deltatre.


Sign-up to get all the latest news direct to your inbox