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Mobile gaming to gain big in a post-Covid environment: GroupM’s ESP report

According to the report, there is a 20% growth in monthly active users due to the lockdown. The daily time spent on mobile gaming has also increased by 30-45 minutes

As the future of most sporting events is uncertain, broadcasters and stakeholders in the sporting industry are in a fix. Group M’s ESP properties released a playbook to help the industry in these trying times. The ‘Business of Indian Sports-Covid-19 Outlook’ playbook talks about the future of the sporting industry after the Covid-19 era. 

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According to the report, mobile gaming has a huge potential to grow after the pandemic. Mobile gaming has grown 20% in the lockdown period. The report suggests there is a huge potential for right holders to tie up with such games to attract audiences.

“In a parallel world, e-sports has been trying to emulate traditional sports for some time now to reach a larger and more mainstream audience. It had already become a billion-dollar industry before the Covid pandemic, with tournaments witnessing arenas filled with screaming fans and sponsors increasingly injecting monies in the ecosystem globally. With the lockdown in place and millions forced to stay at home, e-sports filled up the void for many of the live sports’ hungry fans worldwide,” said the report.

The report provided insights for all the stakeholders in the sports industry to navigate through the tough times by using social media and other creative ways to stay connected with the audience.

It suggested the use of content platforms between the broadcaster and talent to fill the consumer’s need for a new sporting event. “Right holders and talent need to work together even more closely during the lockdown just to ensure that fan relationships are bolstered, and event relevance remains,” it said.

“Broadcasters and rights holders should work more hand in glove right now in order to build a symbiotic relationship. One of the ways of doing this would be opening up the archive footage bank to create rehashed content.” 

“Lockdown times could be a perfect opportunity for rights holders to make heroes off their fans. For example, just like the NBA, Indian right holders could open up their highlights archive for fans to access, rehash and create versions of their own,” it added. 

The report said lack of live sporting events has boosted the demand of ‘non-live sportainment’ and this would make way for non-live sporting options. The lack of live events might lead to the audience unsubscribing from sports channels, hence broadcasters need to plan innovative subscription plans.

The report said sporting events in the post-Covid world will be leaner and efficient for sponsors and advertisers will have a first-hand advantage. “In times like this, a more humane approach becomes the need of the hour wherein all stakeholders go beyond the dotted line and extend favours, which might help keep either parties buoyant,” it said. The suggestions also spoke about the importance of Government partnerships with the industry. “Government partnerships in sports realm is the need of the hour. Government and sponsors have worked together beautifully as public-private-partnerships. After Covid-19, times will call for many such initiatives,” it said.

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