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Forget “pivot to video.” Maybe just pivot to sports

Forget “pivot to video.” Maybe just pivot to sports
[Photo: Mark Jefferson Paraan /Unsplash]

As media companies struggle to make ends meet, the adages of the past few years are becoming more and more outdated. If we remember only a little bit ago, many publishers began to double down on pivoting to video–that is, letting go of editorial staff to focus on social video that would (theoretically) lead to more ad sales. Now as Facebook announces changes to its algorithm, the media companies that did just this will likely be left in the dark.

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Today SimilarWeb released its Q4 numbers about the most trafficked media sites, and there were a few interesting takeaways. The number one site, for instance, was ESPN–up from the number two space the quarter before. In fact, it was a big quarter for sports in general. Yahoo Sports took the number nine space, up from 12. And three sports media websites entered the top 100: MaxPrep, SBNation, and Rotoworld.

Of course, this shift is likely due to the season. NFL games were in full swing last quarter, which explains an increased desire to read content about games. But it’s interesting to note that the NFL isn’t doing terribly well this season, ratings-wise. In fact, regular season TV ratings were down 13% this year. Are people making up for not watching the shows live by simply watching clips and reading about it online?

Perhaps a pivot to sports is upon us, but I really hope not.

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