For any company that creates online video, the questions have already come up: Should we invest in an app? Could we connect better with customers with an app? Would an app help drive the business?
One company that’s bullish on mobile apps is the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), which finds them helpful in multiple ways. As attendees at the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City learned, not only does the UFC use apps to deliver video to fans, they also use apps to create new fans.
Speaking on a second-screen panel, Christy King, vice president of digital and technology research and development for Zuffa, the company that owns UFC, explained how apps let the UFC share more video than it can with pay-per-view.
“There’s a lot of things that we have access to that we would like to share with our fans, but there really isn’t a way to do that through pay-per-view. I mean, it’s just a screen: you turn it on, you watch it. Our fans tend to range anywhere from pretty young teens all the way up into, on average into 30s and 40s. Those are people, for the most part, that are extremely comfortable with technology, and they all have some kind of little whiz-bang gadget in their pockets,” King said. “We see it as a way to put information in front of the super rabid fans.”
But mobile apps do more for the UFC than satisfy an established audience. They also help build an audience.
“We already know from research that the biggest conversion that happens to people who become more serious fans of mixed martial arts are those who actually experience it for the first few times in bars with their friends. And the reason that is, we think, from what we can tell, is that people are talking about the sport,” King explained. When people talk about the sport and explain it, that helps newcomers understand what’s going on. “The second-screen experience really becomes our ability to kind of do a better job giving good information to people that don’t understand what they’re watching, and we can teach them.”
If your company has a younger, gadget-loving clientele, creating a video app could be a smart choice. For more on driving engagement with mobile apps, watch the full panel discussion below.