2021 saw the return of live sports and major athletic competitions. But with fewer opportunities for mass in-person viewing, consumers are increasingly satisfying their hunger for sports through streaming channels and other online content.
From the NBA Finals to Wimbledon to the Olympics, let’s check out how sports content is performing on Outbrain’s network and highlight ways publishers can cater to their fans and gain revenue. Starting in June, there have been 116B sports recommendations globally, and sports content makes up 17% of all page views (PVs) on Outbrain. The end of the Olympics had the most popular events of the summer while the UEFA Euro and the Paralympic Games and US Open also piqued interest. Desktop consumption jumps at the start of the week to recap the prior week/plan ahead while mobile interaction with sports is more variable throughout the week
The US, Japan, France, Germany, and Spain take the lead on the most paid and organic sports content and PVs. While soccer dominates globally, golf, tennis, and motorsports had the highest CTR, illustrating the desire for diverse sports content.
Even markets with less sports content avidly consume what they’ve got:
- Brazil had 57% higher CTR for sports content than average. Their top sports are football, extreme sports, and tennis.
- Austria had 49% higher CTR than average, with golf as a top performer.
- Australia had CTR 27% higher than average, favoring tennis and golf.
Sports mania is a win/win for all types of publishers. On Outbrain’s network, we see rises in sports CTR coinciding with CTR increases for all other content. Consumers come for sports news and get sucked into other news categories.
So now that live sports events are back, how can publishers capitalize on this demand? Live coverage pages are popular to track results but can be difficult to monetize due to:
- Ad viewability challenges with long pages
- Few ad calls with long audience dwell times
- Non conventional editorial formats (scores pages, points grids, etc.) syncing with conventional ad formats
Outbrain offers a variety of solutions to provide engaging experiences for readers and monetization opportunities for publishers, particularly for live content, including:
- Read More Button – shortens long live sports coverage, increasing widget viewability and allowing easy access to full content, boosting ad viewability
- Read Next – provides non-intrusive recommendations triggered after a specific dwell time, ideal for pages with longer time on site and low refresh rates such as live coverage pages
- Audience Rules – adapts user experience based on specific criteria such as serving additional paid recommendation widgets on sports/live pages or creating rules to target sponsored content during live coverage time
- Audience Campaigns – drive audiences into sports advertiser sponsorships to deliver on PV commitments
For advice on these and other ways to monetize your sports content, reach out to your Outbrain representative.