Why Sports Illustrated Is on the Right Track by Integrating AR

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The following is a guest contributed post from Tom Farrell, the vice president of marketing for the mobile marketing and consumer engagement platform Swrve.

Augmented reality (AR) is hardly news by this point. The Pokémon Go craze has been and gone, and if you haven’t taken a selfie with the Snapchat AR flower crown, what on Earth have you been doing? As all tech trends eventually do, AR has come to the point where its sheer newness is no longer enough to get people hyped up. As a result, in order to become more than just another futuristic gimmick, AR needs to be integrated into users’ daily lives in a way that is useful; it must enhance their experiences rather than just being used for software showboating. In particular, AR opens up interesting new monetization opportunities for publishers.

One of the most extensive recent examples of just how many options AR can offer comes from Sports Illustrated, which has introduced several AR and virtual reality (VR) features as part of its famous swimsuit issue. There interactive spread includes a 360-degree VR tour of the photo shoot; Snapchat lenses that use AR to turn the reader into one of the models; AR-activated pages that readers can scan to bring to life; 3D holograms; and more. What makes Sports Illustrated’s AR application particularly notable beyond the sheer number of different features is the way that these integrate into the print and web editions, becoming part of the publication rather than replacing it.

These features are likely to drive revenue in two main ways, with the first (and most obvious) being by boosting the amount of time that people are engaged. In the same way that most of us are likely to spend longer playing a video game than looking at the cover of its box, creating actions that the audience can carry out and ways that they can interact with the material mean that they’re likely to spend more time engaging with the issue’s content.

Second, the AR features require readers download the LifeVR app, which increases the number of engagement channels, as well. By incentivizing engagement with the app through an exclusive experience, acquisition is more likely to be encouraged than by any amount of “download now!” messaging. In fact, to get the most from these AR and VR experiences, readers are encouraged to engage with the print magazine, website and app, tripling the reader’s total contact with the brand. These added features offer a way to revitalize the print medium, bringing readers of the magazine into the app, and users of the app back to the magazine. Having the app on readers’ phones means that they’re more likely to engage with the brand in the future. Because the LifeVR app features several publications from the Life brand, it’s also an opportunity to cross-sell users on to other titles, too.

For publishers, increased brand engagement time is particularly crucial since apps are a prime platform for monetization. If a publisher’s content is monetized by upselling readers to subscriptions or premium packages, then using the app to deliver these interactions means that the publisher’s approach can be much more targeted and much more effective. If monetization relies instead on showing advertisements from other businesses, these, too, can be optimized through the app by timing them to cause the least disruption and, therefore, to support maximum customer retention. With ad blockers becoming increasingly common, the ability to have full control over the ads shown through apps is particularly valuable. Essentially, having more readers spending more time in the app translates to more advertising revenue, and Sports Illustrated’s use of AR features is a great way to do just that.

Sports Illustrated is on to a winner here. Readers get a more dynamic experience that they’ll want to share and spend time engaging with, and publishers increase brand exposure, which can increase revenue. We predict AR will be an area of growth over the coming months, as applications like Sports Illustrated prove to bring real benefits beyond its original clickbait appeal.

The post Why Sports Illustrated Is on the Right Track by Integrating AR appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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ESPN+ sports streaming service will launch on April 12 for $4.99 per month

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ESPN+ logo sports streaming service

Remember ESPN+? We first learned of the upcoming streaming service a couple of months ago, and today ESPN has finally revealed its launch plans.

ESPN+ will be available starting April 12. The service will cost $ 4.99 per month or $ 49.99 per year and will be integrated into the main ESPN app.

Baseball fans will also be able to purchase the MLB.TV out of market package for an additional $ 24.99 per month and watch those games in the ESPN app. NHL fans will be able to purchase the entire NHL.TV out of market package during the 2018-2019 season.

ESPN+ will offer a multitude of sports streaming options. More than 180 MLB and more than 180 NHL games will be shown, with a game from each sport being shown every day. Also included is a year-round boxing schedule; more than 250 MLS games; college sports including baseball, softball, football, volleyball, basketball, and wrestling; PGA golf; Grand Slam tennis; rugby; and cricket.

While ESPN+ may not be interesting for more casual sports fans, the streaming service could be a good option for hardcore sports fans that always have Sportscenter and other ESPN shows on their TV. This will give them even more sports streaming options, including sports that don’t often get a lot of mainstream attention.

Are you thinking about signing up for ESPN+?

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Get 20% off Fanatics sports gear with new Apple Pay promo

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Apple this week continued its weekly Apple Pay promotional campaign with a new offer from sports apparel and accessory purveyor Fanatics, which is granting a discount on purchases paid for with Apple’s payments service.
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Google app v7.24 beta prepares floating sports scores, Doodles in the search box, Project Valyrian, home automation, and much more [APK Teardown]

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A beta update to the Google app has been making the rounds. As usual, there’s not much new to see after installing this release, but many changes are awaiting Google to flip a switch before going live. Also following the usual pattern, there’s a teardown of the APK that provides plenty of hints about what’s to come. Version 7.24 reveals plans for a floating bubble with current sports scores that remains visible on top of other apps, an effect for the Google search box, a mysterious new project called Valyrian, assorted follow-ups for the Pixel Buds, home automation, and more.

Read More

Google app v7.24 beta prepares floating sports scores, Doodles in the search box, Project Valyrian, home automation, and much more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Xiaomi Mi TV gets Hotstar app to stream sports, watch movies and TV shows

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Xiaomi launched its Mi TV 4 55-inch 4K HDR TV last month and recently it launched the TV 4A series. At the TV 4 launch the company said that it has partnered with Hotstar, SunNxt, Voot, Sony LIV, Hungama, Zee5, ALTBalaji, Viu, TVF and flickstree offering over 500,000 hours of content. The company starting adding them slowly. Recently it announced that TVF videos and web-series will be available across all Mi TVs. Now it has announced that Hotstar app is available on the latest Mi TV LED smart TVs so that you can watch live sports, Movies and TV shows. The Hotstar app is available in the more apps section. Xiaomi already said that will add more content partners for the Mi TV in the future. Hope we can expect Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in the coming months. Source
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Twitter and Fox Sports have high hopes for their World Cup live show

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With the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia just around the corner, right holders to the event are starting to share more details about their coverage plans. And, to no surprise to anyone, social media will play a major role in that. Fox Sports, FIFA's En…
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Health IoT: App helps sports stars predict and manage injuries

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Researchers at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga have developed a platform that measures an athlete’s risk of injury using the Internet of Things (IoT).

The new system could allow athletes at every level, from superstar to hopeful, to create a personal injury risk profile, and manage it from their own smartphones.

Professional athletes live with the knowledge that a serious injury could occur at any moment. Beyond the physical repercussions, these apparent twists of fate can damage successful careers, affect team members or clubs, and have a lasting impact economically and psychologically.

Part of the solution to the ever-present threat of injuries lies in no longer treating them as bad luck, claim researchers. Instead, athletes and their trainers or managers can use new technology to help predict when they might occur.

Using the IoT, researchers at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga have developed a framework to predict and help reduce the risk of injury.

Their research is set out in Mitigating sports injury risks using Internet of Things and analytic approaches, a paper published in the journal Risk Analysis. It explains how screening procedures can help predict the likelihood of an injury using wireless devices and cloud analytics.

Read more: Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to be defended by drone-catching drones

Creating a dashboard for injury risk

Sports injury management, even at a professional level, will always rely on some form of subjective assessment. That might come from the athlete in question, who’s determined to run or play in the next game, despite the pain. Or it might come from a doctor who has to interpret that information and make a split-second decision, while facing commercial or personal pressures.

However, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga researchers have done their best to remove this element from the screening process – or at least to provide as much objective data as possible to minimise the risk.

This greater objectivity is added by combining the athlete’s previous injury history with the results of a number of standardised screening tests. The result is a real-time dashboard providing details of each individual athlete’s status.

Read more: British Athletics deploys digital pace-makers for Rio Olympics

Data, screening, and predictive analytics

The research project was developed in real-world conditions with a team of American footballers.

A month before the players got together for preseason training, information on their previous injuries was collected using a Sport Fitness Index (SFI) survey. Each player then took a Unilateral Forefoot Squat (UFS) test, which assessed their ability to synchronise muscle responses in their legs while holding an upright position.

The researchers used accelerometers built into their smartphones to measure the results. The collected data was then integrated with the athletes’ self-reports of previous injuries and with longitudinal tracking of exposure to game conditions.

In their analysis of the data, the researchers found the ‘red zone’: athletes who played at least eight games were over three times more likely to suffer an injury than those who played fewer than eight games. Of those athletes who exhibited at least one risk factor, 42 percent then sustained an injury.

“Assigning all athletes to a single type of training program, without consideration of an individual’s unique risk profile, may fail to produce a substantial decrease in injury likelihood,” wrote Gary Wilkerson, lead author of the study.

“The results also provide a useful estimation of the odds of injury occurrence for each athlete during the subsequent season.”

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Moving forward, Wilkerson and his team predict that the prevalence of smartphones and other IoT devices will help to make these and similar screening tests more accessible to athletes at all levels.

Anybody participating in sport could then put all of their data together to identify their own personalised injury risk. A truly smart solution to a painful – and often costly – problem.

Read more: Philips expands healthtech portfolio with IoT, AI, cloud solutions

The post Health IoT: App helps sports stars predict and manage injuries appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Hulu adds sports features to Live TV just in time for March Madness

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Just in time for March Madness, Hulu has added features for its Live TV service keyed specifically to the month-long event. Did you like choosing particular sports during the recent Winter Olympics and having Hulu curate coverage per your interests?…
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Hulu Live TV gains more 60fps channels, push notifications for sports

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People subscribed to Hulu’s Live TV package can now watch another 33 channels at 60 frames per second, and receive push notifications on their iPhone or iPad when a tracked sports event is about to start.
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Netflix isn’t chasing the competition into sports or live TV

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Fresh off of its Oscars win for Icarus, a documentary about Russia's doping epidemic in sports, Netflix held a press event at its Hollywood headquarters. There, inside a 280,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art studio that it just opened last year, CEO…
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