Not sure if this made any noise outside of the Tennis world, but Roger Federer posted a live-practice session via Periscope on December 22. The ‘event’ was very well produced, with multiple camera angles and a mic’d up Federer. You can catch it on-demand here.
What struck me most about this was the level of access fans were given. I follow Federer on Twitter and Instagram, but now I’m watching my favorite tennis player (and arguably the GOAT) talk me through a practice session! That’s pretty insane, no?! I, and I’m sure many others, would have paid a few dollars to watch this, either live or on-demand.
So can this become a thing? You buy Kimojis and DurantEmojis in the App Store, so why not pay a one-time fee or even recurring subscription for access to your favorite celebrity, artist or athlete?
And this starts to emerge as yet additional competition for the TV Bundle and even existing Subscription Video On-Demand (SVOD) services. A Federer practice or Bruno Mars (been into him recently) jam session isn’t something that Netflix, HBO or Hulu can easily replicate. Yes, they produce Comedy Specials and Concerts and Hulu is looking to include live content, but they’re not going to sign deals with everyone. Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari have already sold directly to fans, and while Netflix can spend a lot of money to get the biggest stars, there’s quite a long-tail of artists with significant fan-bases. And that long-tail can add up to a lot of money.
So maybe a platform aggregates all of this or an “indie” skinny-bundle emerges ? Without this aspect, there’s just too many apps to download, subscriptions to manage, and nobody really wins. Amazon has done the best job with this, IMO, with Prime Video add-on subscriptions. For a fee, you can add non-Amazon SVOD services onto your Prime subscription and watch via the Prime App. It will be interesting to see how things play out.