Guest Post: By Jean-Charles Lacoste, CEO at InPlayer.

Across the globe there is an insatiable appetite for watching live sports coverage. But prohibitive ticket prices, or simple geographical distance, mean that many Premier League Fans don’t have the option of attending matches in person. Travelling to games from abroad can be costly and even when you get to the stadium, English Premier League tickets can cost over £50 each.

Subscription video-on-demand provides the perfect solution to these barriers and it’s an option that Premier League Fans around the world are taking advantage of. A recent Pyramid Research report estimated that, in China alone, that there will be approximately 28 million SVOD users by 2016. The revenue from SVOD in this country is expected to reach $1.2 billion – 6% of all pay-TV revenue.

What is the attraction of SVOD?

Having started in France thirty years ago, SVOD technology has developed into a high-quality and financially viable product.

But SVOD doesn’t need to be seen as an alternative to regular pay-TV options. Currently, the most popular model of SVOD viewership is in tandem with TV content, allowing the viewer to access additional live content. This partnership of content is particularly popular when it comes to sports, giving subscribers, like Premier League fans in China, the chance to watch all the live content they want. Consumers can also take advantage of a range of perks:

  • The chance to watch every game from their favorite sports team
  • Specialist or minority sports (often available for the first time)
  • Interaction with their team, from online coaching sessions to ‘behind the scenes’ footage

What does the future hold for SVOD?

The demand for SVOD seems set to continue, as viewers clamour to be able to watch high quality, live content. The on-going uptake in mobile technology with only add further fuel to this movement. SVOD is no longer a static entity – services like Google Chromecast allow viewers to access video content on the move. This is one of the reasons why, according to Nielsen, a significant 40% of US households in 2014 had access to SVOD.

As the cost of attending live sporting contests continues to rocket and sports teams, such as Manchester United and Liverpool, continue to exploit the possibilities of their international fan base, the viewing of SVOD sports content will only continue to rise.

At InPlayer, we are proud to work with some of the largest sport entertainment companies and sports clubs as their default monetization layer. With over 170.000 transactions processed through our in-video paywall and 36 currencies supported, we tend to be the global portable monetization block for companies that are serving video online.


Written by

Ali Little is Chief Operating Officer at GWI. Having spent several years working at media agencies OMD and UM, as well as client-side at Electronic Arts, he now dedicates his time to building robust data products and services that power marketing that works.

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