This week, we saw the launch of the Amazon Premier League football coverage, which was kicked off by Crystal Palace taking home the first victory of the Amazon era, shortly followed by Manchester City’s win away at Burnley’s Turf Moor. The ActiveWin team were keen to see how it unfolded, and it appears that there were mixed reviews.
This December, 20 Premier League games will be live and exclusive on Prime Video, meaning it is free for Amazon Prime Members. Meanwhile, non-members can get a 30-day free trial and then pay £7.99 a month. It’s certainly a very attractive price-point for the competitive sports media market.
We’ve picked out the good and the bad, but one thing is for sure, we will definitely be tuning into the Amazon Premier League coverage this season. The question is, will football fans trust Amazon to deliver the kind of sports coverage they have become accustomed to with established media outlets?
When multiple games are broadcast simultaneously, fans can choose which one to watch through the Amazon Premier League streaming service, just as you would usually choose what to watch on Prime Video.
Viewers can switch off the commentary if they like, so if you’re not happy with the pundit, muting is a welcomed option. Instead, you can switch to ‘Stadium Atmosphere’ to hear the more immersive chants among the fans at the stadium.
Live stats throughout the games are also a great touch, such as win probability.
A key bonus? Rewinding highlights. Sort of like your own version of VAR.
A short scroll through the #AmazonPrimeVideo hashtag on Twitter showed that many people were happy with the choice of games to watch, instead of it being dictated by the broadcaster, as well as the stadium atmosphere setting and the live stats. It’s clear that they’ve listened to what the viewers want from their football viewing experience and acted on it to set Amazon apart from Sky and BT.
We’ve got to take the rough with the smooth, though, as not everybody was happy with every aspect.
Some commented that there were the same commentators and presenters, meaning that the atmosphere was pretty much the same as competing broadcasters. This could indicate viewers really care about who is broadcasting the sport to decide where they will watch the match.
Other viewers had issues with the streaming service itself, particularly with stop-starting, which caused a delay between the live-action and the stream. However, if you don’t want spoilers, we suggest turning off your score alerts app or putting your mobile out of sight when watching the Amazon Premier League coverage.
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Instead of standard adverts, Amazon mostly shows advertisements for its other products and services during match breaks like half time. Although the general branding of the sports coverage may not be all-singing, all-dancing, having the ability to advertise its own brand further where there would usually be adverts from the highest bidders or sponsors means they have autonomy on the messages they can send to audiences.
This aspect of the sponsorship has raised the most concern, as there are continued cries amongst critics who believe Amazon is on a mission to monopolise multiple aspects of day-to-day life; from retail, groceries, gambling, entertainment and now sports.
Amazon’s use of the ‘ad breaks’ to promote its own services, however, is not unique.
Spotify’s new tool utilises ad space for artists to pay for a prime position on the home screen of the app so that users can discover new music. Full-screen notifications pop up and suggest new music releases for users to listen to.
Artists, of course, have to pay for this privilege, but it is an example of relevant advertising for users.
Our PPC and Media Buying team know a thing or two about advertising with apps, especially around sports marketing, having worked with brands like Wigan Warriors, Betfred, St. Helens and Totesport.
In fact, Betfred makes up the cornerstone of ActiveWin’s affiliate marketing program as we help to promote their offers to sports fans across the country. From welcome packages to promoted posts on social media, we’ve helped to boost their customers and income.
The Bigger Picture
Of course, we know Amazon is a tech giant, and they have signed this deal of 20 games a season for three years. But what is the point?
Primarily keeping their brand at the top of mind will be one thing, which it is bound to succeed in. The rest of it will be to drive customers to purchase Amazon’s goods and services during peak shopping times like Christmas and January sales. As a customer service powerhouse, they are able to address shopper concerns immediately, which usually translates into higher sales, as our customer support team can attest to.
With 10 games showing through the Amazon Premier League service on Boxing Day, plus, no doubt, plenty of Boxing Day deals on Amazon, some of us will kick back and watch the sport while the others scour the site for deals. It’s a win-win situation for Amazon.
It would be interesting to compare December sales and sign-ups to Amazon products to the same month in a previous year to see how much impact this Amazon Premier League streaming has had. We’re also curious to find out how many people keep their Prime subscriptions beyond the free trial.
If this success proves worth the while, which we’re pretty sure it will, then how much further could Amazon go to infiltrate new aspects of consumer life? After all, they started off by selling books…look how far they have come.
Want to discuss your own thoughts on the Amazon Premier League coverage, or are you after some marketing expertise? Either way, we’d love to chat.