Don’t Treat Fans Like The Enemy

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Does anybody remember the music industry back in the 90’s? When you would buy a $15 CD at Tower Records? No? Well apparently some sports and media entities don’t remember either because they are making some of the same mistakes that the music industry did 15 years ago.

The Premier League threatens to sue their fans for posting a low quality video of a goal. Seriously. Instead of figuring out a way to quickly distribute this content on their own the Premier League’s answer is to take legal action against their fans. Instead of embracing the social sharing economy the Premier League turns it’s back on it in favor of the ‘old school’ way of doing things like selling the goal rights to the Sun which then charges user £8 a month (about $13 US) for the right to see a goal they may have missed.

Really?

Now flash back to 2000-2001 and the age of Napster. Instead of creating a user friendly digital distribution model the music industry sued Napster. Then it went after the music fans themselves for downloading music they wanted to hear. Why? Well the record companies felt that people should have to buy the $15 CD to listen to that one song they might like. The artist, executives, marketing and truck drivers all need to get a piece of that $15. Damn how the user wants their content.

In the end the users won and we now have the ability to buy an entire album or just a song and for less money. We now have the ability to stream or download, better price fluctuations and more devices and outlets than ever before.

The Premier League should be embracing this not discouraging it. They should be standing on top of the mountain and shouting to the world how great a goal was. They should want the world to see it.They shouldn’t be running away from it. This is an opportunity not a burden.

How do they go about it? It’s pretty simple actually.

First, stop the current model they have. Selling the rights to someone else is just a cop-out. Second, set up a digital command center in London (or Manchester if you like). Have all the feeds of all the Premier League games fed into this location and a person assigned to each game. That person’s job is to pull out those moments as they happen. That same person compresses the video and pushes it to a repository where there is a another person,  a social media producer so to speak, who decides which amazing moment should be tweeted out or posted to Instagram or uploaded to YouTube, etc.

This guarantees that high quality content is sent out from the Premier League accounts. This helps dominate in SEO and drives eyeballs back to the Leagues other revenue generating properties like YouTube (if they had a channel which they don’t which should tell you something about their backwards way of thinking). In other words, this can be a revenue generator which is a good thing.

The NFL, MLB, NHL and others have a command center. If the Premier League doesn’t then they should really think about taking the term ‘Premier’ out of their name.

This isn’t difficult. The fact that the Premier League’s modus operandi is to sell the rights to someone then threaten to sue people who do not use that service does say alot about the business practices and lack of creativity at the top. If the metamorphosis of the music industry tells us anything its that the users are going to win in the end. The faster you accept that the better off and more profitable you will be.

 

 

 

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