Amazon isn't content with being an online marketplace. It's not happy being in our homes via Alexa. It's not satisfied supplying us with same or next day delivery whenever we want it, or introducing fresh food to its inventory. It's not even had enough by providing us with video and TV shows on demand. No, Amazon has flexed its almighty muscle and served an ace to bring us live tennis from 2018, outbidding Sky to win the rights to nearly all the top flight matches. For a cool £10m - less than what I thought it would be in fact.
Whilst this shows Amazon can happily splash its cash, I think it also points to an increasing shift in consumers' mindsets, and something we as comms pros, and other brands, can learn from. Amazon is clearly aware of its growing dominance in the on demand market and the voracious appetites of consumers, especially those pesky millennials (le sigh), to access content when they want, how they want. It's placed itself right where consumers need it, at just the right time. It's a strategy I talk about time and time again: go where your audience is.
Brands need to keep an eye on how Amazon diversifies, as whenever it casts its net a little wider, it never feels totally unexpected or surprising. Of course it's moving in to take market share from broadcasters for live content now. Why wouldn't it? The 'why wouldn't it?' is, in my opinion, the point that other brands want to get to with their audiences. And that's where we, in our role as comms professionals, can help.
Tennis fans wanting to watch Andy Murray and Roger Federer on a regular basis through the season will have to pick up an Amazon subscription, after the US digital giant nabbed the UK rights to the ATP World Tour from Sky. The deal will make Amazon Prime Video the home for practically all top-flight men’s tennis other than the four grand slam tournaments – including the end of year ATP World Tour finals at the O2 Arena in London.