Facebook believes that its new paid welcome bonus casino online event feature has significant growth potential and should be promoted to sports and esports leagues which could use it to their benefit in the future.
As part of Facebook’s plan to invest in paid online events, the company is planning to promote its online casino viewing feature to small leagues, esports leagues and school sports teams so that they can livestream their events, sell tickets for virtual viewing and make money.
Pay To View
Facebook envisions that the pay to view feature will enable more virtual engagements for viewers. People will purchase a “virtual” ticket so that they can watch live-streaming sports events, as they happen, from their viewing screen. Viewers who want to enter a virtual room to see a sporting or gaming event will have to pay first for access. Facebook will then transfer 1005 of the payment to the creators.
Facebook is aiming to establish more sports engagement. In this way ore viewers can participate I the pay per view platform so the virtual sports environment will improve.
Supporting the Community
Facebook says that this feature will help sports companies, gaming leagues and other local businesses make more money in a landscape that is seeing rapid changing content consumption. Facebook believes that smaller leagues and high school sports teams will benefit through the added income. Facebook said that it plans to invest in paid online events to benefit the public.
Pay Per View
Pay per view is not new. Media networks including Showtime and HBO have used the pay per view model, mostly for boxing, UFC, mixed martial arts and WWE. For the viewer, the benefit is that you pay per event, rather than be compelled to buy a subscription to view an event.
Rob Shaw, Facebook Director of Sports and Media and League Partnerships, commented, “I think pay-per-view is by no means on any verge of extinction. In an interview with CNBC, Shaw said, “I think this is something that helps breathe new life into it. People are willing to pay to experience a moment…..One thing I’ve noticed, though. I don’t think people are willing to immediately start with a subscription.”
Facebook’s paid online events launched last year but it has grown quickly. It’s ow available in 44 markets around the world including in the U.S. With 1.8 billion active daily users and 2.85 billion active monthly users Facebook has the ready-made audience that can make this feature work.
Users who want to host an event must first pass integrity checks. Once they have been approved they can start streaming. Facebook will monitor the streams to prevent streaming of explicit content. Users and businesses can host livestreams for sporting event as well as for course-like events such as gaming tournaments, introducing a new product, cooking classes, etc.
The feature is available to high schools and second- and third-tier sportsand esports leagues which can attract attendance with the feature. One early success was the Challenge Miami triathlon event which was held in March and drew users who could purchase tickets for $2.99 The event drew over 17,000 people of which 70% were outside the U.S. That’s way more than the event has ever drawn in person.
That triathlon, said Yoav Arnstein, Director of Product Management for Facebook, was when Facebook realized that paid online events had growth potential for the sports and gaming worlds and could assist event hosts to make money. “That goes to show the ability of sports infusion — to go and extend the reach beyond the current locale of the event, which is tremendous,” said Arnstein
The pandemic accelerated Facebook’s livestreaming beyond sports and gaming. Verzuz, an event in which notable musical stars are paired on Instagram in a battle-style event, turned Verzuz into a valuable commodity. After the Instagram pay per view streams the streaming company Triller bought Verzuz. Another platform, OnlyFans, has also thrived thanks to the ability to monetize peer-to-peer content.
Now Facebook has begun to plan for a post-pandemic world where livestreaming online events will become the norm. According to Shaw, online events will become “another tool in our suite of monetization products that allows you to monetize your content directly.”
NP Digital tested paid online events by marketing events offering similar livestreaming products. Chief marketing officer Neil Patel reported that contact creators were able to earn 28% more revenue than third-party services. Patel told CNBC, “The conversion rates are higher. It makes your [return on investment] much higher as a content creator, and you’re more likely to leverage it. Who wouldn’t want 28% more revenue? This is just a better, more economical way you can reach way more people.”
One of the biggest advantages of a paid online event is the replay feature which allows a user to pay and watch later if they missed the live session. Facebook intends to add more engagement features, said Arnstein, so that paid online events are differentiated from free streaming products. Another feature being tested, geofencing, will give hosts the opportunity to target specific regions which may, one day, make the feature valuable to pro sports teams as well.
Currently content creators receive all reveue from tickets to a paid event. That may change in August when the in-app charges that Apple and Google paused during the pandemic are set to return.
Instead of incorporating fees, Facebook may start allowing paid ads during the streams but whether paid online events would take the place of charging content providers is questionable.
“Facebook is pushing hard on this, and I think they’ll end up becoming the leader [in paid livestreaming],” says Patel. “What I’m seeing is, they are trying to go directly after television networks and channels. They are trying to own the attention whether it’s online or offline — they want it.”