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Brands could tap mobile PPV

News, 31 August 2015

NEW YORK: The development of mobile pay-per-view (PPV) could open up new global avenues for marketers while at the same time bringing incremental revenues to the content providers involved.

"Mobile PPV is a complete newborn and we're waiting for it to start kicking and screaming," Mazen Alawar, director of marketing at live streaming specialist Hang w/, told Mobile Marketer. "I think this allows [pay-per-view providers] to go direct to consumer the way nothing else does."

Sporting events are an obvious candidate for mobile PPV, as some of these are already made available on PPV basis via cable. And with more consumers shunning cable bundles of programming there are opportunities for cable networks to claw back viewers.

The NBA has already taken steps to offer consumers single-game options on mobile devices, rather than requiring the less-committed fan to buy a package for all games. Consequently it is getting access to and profiting from viewers it would otherwise have missed.

"Mobile pay per view gives providers an opportunity to dramatically improve footprint, not just because of ubiquity of mobile devices but because of their omnipresence," said Sastry Rachakonda, CEO of iQuanti, New York.

"People do not have to be at home in front of their televisions to get pay-per-view, which dramatically increases the opportunity."

The other major opportunity he saw came from the ability to go global instantly. "For example, Chinese soccer fans would be able to view the English Premier League on their mobiles, on a pay-per-view mode, at $0.95 per match," he suggested.

"Given the global popularity of LeBron James, we can see that as a huge opportunity for the NBA," he added.

Earlier this year the NBA signed a deal with Chinese internet giant Tencent to show live games – NBA games attract an estimated 100m fans in the country – on its various platforms.

Alawar further pointed out that brands could bypass media houses; they could also, he suggested, "facilitate consumer content by offering free access to loyal customers".

Data sourced from Mobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff