Exclusive OneFootball: "A differentiated, user-centric approach to content" (L. von Cranach, founder and CEO)Paris - Published Monday, September 14, 2020 - 14:00 - #192851 "OneFootball has a differentiated approach, a user-centric approach. Being a pure football platform, we aggregate different sources of content with a neutral view. On top of that, we add our editorial touch through our own content. The idea is to be the 'one-stop-shop' for any football fan," said Lucas von Cranach, founder and CEO of OneFootball to News Tank Football on 11/09/2020.
"The media platform is the fundament of our offering to which we add layers like OTTOTTOver-the-top, content provided through the Internet. streaming, which makes us enter the direct-to-consumer business. Our business model is therefore first a BtoBtoC advertising model through our media platform and the free-to-air live matches in markets that are most relevant to partners regarding timing, audience size and the capacity we have to target specific audience groups. Then, we act as a distributor for live matches via OTT on a pay-per-view basis," continued the head of the football media platform who signed an agreement with AS Monaco FCAS Monaco FC (Ligue 1 Uber EatsLigue 1 Uber EatsName of the French Ligue 1 championship for the 2020-2022 cycle.
Uber Eats, a home meal delivery application and subsidiary of Uber an independent driver mobile application, has become the title partner of the French top division for two seasons (2020-2022), replacing Conforama, announced the LFP, on 12/06/2019.) on 10/09/2020.
"Through our model, a media platform via an app, we have a clear focus on a young audience. Older audiences tend to go to publishers. Young users though value our aggregation just like they value SpotifySpotify for music, InstagramInstagram for content snacking, etc. They are looking to find the answer to 'How can I kill my time in the best way?'," added Lucas von Cranach who answered questions from News Tank Football.
OneFootball is now a partner of AS Monaco FC (Ligue 1 Uber Eats). What does this say about your ambitions in the French market? How important is a partnership with a club to enter a market?
OneFootball x AS Monaco - © OneFootball It is very important. French is one of our core languages in which we produce content, alongside German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English. Hence, France is obviously a key market for us. To have AS Monaco FCAS Monaco FC on board as a partner is crucial, and we hope that it is just the first of many agreements with French clubs. Our solution and user-centric approach is beneficial to any club. AS Monaco is one of the biggest, strongest, most recognized football brands in France with a great past and one of the few clubs with an international appeal. Moreover, the club is a driving force when it comes to digital innovation.
OneFootball also announced recently that it is broadcasting the K League for free in France?
We never guarantee a minimum fee on our dealsCorrect, it is a distribution deal similar to what we do on a pay-per-view basis in Germany with SkySky Deutschland for the 2.Bundesliga2.BundesligaGerman second division. 18 clubs. and the German CupDFB-PokalGerman National Cup, for example. We do not acquire these rights - it would require hundreds of millions of Euros to do so in Germany - but we enter into a distribution partnership with the rights holder. Then the rights holder decides on the model, whether to put it up for free, like for the K LeagueK LeagueSouth Korean first division, 12 clubs, or to put it behind the pay-per-view wall. If it is a pay-per-view approach, the partnership is based on a revenue share. We never guarantee a minimum fee on our deals.
Germany: pay-per-view offer for second division and Cup matches via OneFootball extended for 2020-21
• The pay-TV group Sky DeutschlandSky Deutschland has extended its pay-per-view offer in Germany, in cooperation with the Onefootball application for the 2.Bundesliga2.BundesligaGerman second division. 18 clubs. and DFB-PokalDFB-PokalGerman National Cup for the 2020-21 season, according to the football media platform on 11/09/2020.
• Matches are available individually for €3.99 via the Onefootball application.
• The agreement between Sky and Onefootball also allows the application to offer highlights of Premier League matches.
• Sky Deutschland launched this offer for the 2019-20 season on 21/08/2019.
What is your current business model? Does OneFootball define itself as media or a platform? Which business model are you heading towards in the medium term?
We see the football week as a journey for the fanWe see the football week as a journey for the fan. Our goal is to be there during the entire week and to offer the best suited content, the best product at any time of the day.
OneFootball has a differentiated approach, a user-centric approach. Being a pure football platform, we aggregate different sources of content with a neutral view. On top of that, we add our editorial touch through our own content. The idea is to be the 'one-stop-shop' for any football fan. The media platform is the fundament of our offering to which we add layers like OTTOTTOver-the-top, content provided through the Internet. streaming, which makes us enter the direct-to-consumer business.
We could add a subscription model in the long runOur business model is therefore first a BtoBtoC advertising model through our media platform and the free-to-air live matches in markets that are most relevant to partners regarding timing, audience size and the capacity we have to target specific audience groups. For example, the K League we offer in five different markets (France, Italy, Spain, Brazil and UK) and in Germany we show the fourth division for free via Sporttotal. Our platform is scalable: more users means more engagement, and the more we have, the more attractive we are for interested parties. Then, we act as a distributor for live matches via OTT on a pay-per-view basis. Today, we only offer the pay-per-view model, but we could possibly add a subscription model in the long run.
Why have you chosen a closed platform model?
A big differentiating aspect of our platform is the fact that it is a closed oneA big differentiating aspect of our platform is the fact that it is a closed one. We decide on the content sources and who can distribute it. I decided to go for that solution, because I think it is more relevant in the long run for users and enables a better experience. On top of that, no user-generated content means that our platform is 100% 'brand safe'. Especially nowadays, brands that are investing in web or in-app advertising are more and more vigilant when it comes to user-generated content because of comments linked to racism, homophobia, etc.
A closed platform, and the way we target fans with customized content based on their interests, is valuable for our business partners. It is easier for us to commercialize something in a segmented way to a specific target group.
What are the specifics of the French market from your point of view? How can this be leveraged?
As a media platform, we have the same approach in each market we address. When it comes to OTTOTTOver-the-top, content provided through the Internet. and on-demand highlight clips, it has to be a market to market approach since the rights are sold market by market. In France, we definitely have room to grow when it comes to OTT.
OneFootball just changed its brand identity recently...
Very few users recognized us as a brandWe needed a new brand identity because in the past we were primarily perceived as a tool or a service. Very few users recognized us as a brand. When Franz Koch, who previously was global CEO at PumaPuma, joined OneFootball as COO, he immediately initiated the brand project. It was an extensive, one year and half project. Looking at the actual size of the company and in line with our long-term plan and vision, we decided that we needed to be more visible. It was about setting clear expectations to our ecosystem, moving from a tool to a brand, but also providing a promise to our team and users.
We can say that it was a success: we did not lose users and have gained customers since. We decided to stick to our brand launch plan despite the Covid-19 crisis. It actually gave us more time to go in-depth with that transformation.
Will you target the Asian market in the near future?
We don't plan to invest in Asia in the next twelve monthsAsia is an important region, but we do not plan to invest in it in the short-term, or at least not in the next twelve months. Our expansion is part of a long-term vision, but we move step by step to make sure we do it the right way. If we try to do everything and every country at the same time, it will be chaos and difficult to handle. We take one step at a time when it comes to adding new layers and features to OneFootball.
Let's talk audience and use of your app... What is the average age of your users? How can you make sure that the app is downloaded by more people?
Younger audiences are not hard-core fans dedicated to a single clubThrough our model, a media platform via an app, we have a clear focus on a young audience. Older audiences tend to go to publishers. Young users though value our aggregation just like they value SpotifySpotify for music, InstagramInstagram for content snacking, etc. They are looking to find the answer to "How can I kill my time in the best way?". Furthermore, younger audiences are not hard-core fans dedicated to a single club. They download our app because we are broad and have the best content offering for every fan, no matter if they are interested in a team, league, player or simply want to consume content in a specific language.
Our customer base is growingOur customer base is growing. To do so, we use a mix of all available marketing streams. For instance, we have a team of around 25 full time employees working in influencer marketing.
How did OneFootball overcome the Covid-19 crisis and the lack of live football?
Useful to have an entrepreneur at the head of the company in times of crisisEvery company has had difficulties during the Covid-19 period. I believe that during these periods, it is helpful to have an entrepreneur running the company as they are normally less risk averse. We had a solid contingency plan in place during the crisis with the first objective to invest and not to divest. It is what we did, and we will continue to do so. The second one was to keep the whole team on board. Again, it is what we did, and we even started hiring people again to further develop the business. After a period of short-time work, our entire staff is now back to regular working hours. OneFootball has therefore fulfilled the objectives it set itself at the start of the crisis.
Lucas Von Cranach
CEO & founder 2008 Today
Assistant to Owner and CEO March 2006 at March 2008
|March 2006||March 2008|
Sector: football application (scores, statistics, news, videos)
- Available in 12 languages with 6 main languages (EN, DE, FR, ESP, ITA, POR/BRA) with a dedicated editorial staff
Headquarters: Berlin (Germany)
Active users: 70 millions
- 60 sessions per user per month on average
- 75% of users aged between 13 and 34 years old
CEO: Lucas von Cranach
COO: Franz Koch
Workforce: 220 employees
Main partner clubs:
• AS Monaco FC (Ligue 1 Uber Eats)
• FC Schalke 04 (Bundesliga)
• Manchester City FC (Premier League)
• Real Madrid CF (Laliga Santander)
Main sports rights offered pay-per-view:
• Germany via Sky Deutschland: €3.99/match for the 2.Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal
• Germany, Austria and Switzerland via Sportdigital: €1.99/match Eredivisie (NED), Liga NOS (POR), A-League (AUS), Chinese Super League (CHN), Fortuna Liga (CZE), Ekstraklasa (POL), J.League (JPN), Copa do Brasil (BRA), Copa de la Superliga (ARG), CONCACAF Champions League and K League (KOR)
• Belgium/Luxembourg via Eleven Sports: €4.99/match de Serie A TIM, LaLiga Santander, Bundesliga and The FA Cup
• Globally (excluding Poland and Africa) via Sportfive €1.99 per Polish Cup match
Main sports rights offered free-to-air:
• K Legaue, in Italy, France, Spain, United Kingdom and Brazil
• Regionalliga (German fourth division) via Sporttotal in Germany
• Preliminairy rounds of the 2020-21 European cups internationally (except the countries of the clubs involved in the game)
• Bundesliga and 2.Bundelsiga with SPORTFIVE in Brazil (2020-2023)
Main match highlights rights:
- via Sky Deutschland: Premier League
- via DAZN: LaLiga Santander, Serie A TIM, Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Carabao Cup, Copa del Rey, Coupe de France