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Shorter matches, golden cards for penalties, and free to watch - is this the future of football?
The 2022 Football World Cup was - by all accounts - a huge success.
But for publishers and broadcasters, it costs a fortune to buy rights to show International tournaments, or English Premier League / LaLiga matches live.
And younger viewers often don't have the patience to watch live games that last around two hours.
So it's becoming hard to see how sports rights will prosper in the longer term if audiences are dropping off for live games.
These were all issues facing the sport of cricket - and the response was to launch T20. A shorter, more entertaining format of the game.
This revitalised the sport, creating billions of pounds of economic activity in the IPL alone.
And now, there is a new football competition seeking to disrupt the sport too.
According to Tom Allnutt in today's Times newspaper, Gerard Pique, the former Barcelona footballer has launched the Kings League, a brand new format of the game that features seven-a-side games that last 40 minutes.
Instead of broadcasting on television, the league is streamed on Twitch for free.
And it is getting an average live audience of around 500,000.
This could be a huge deal - and shows how broadcasters need to figure out their free sport model to survive...
Read the article below:
Don't buy my drink for ridiculous money says KSI
As 2023 gets firmly into the swing of things, It is interesting to see how different brands are dealing with the challenges - and opportunities - in media land.
If you inhabit the same space as a teenage male at present, you will know just how coveted the sports drink Prime is by young lads at present.
Prime was released in 2022 and fronted by British YouTuber KSI and US influencer Logan Paul.
It has become a hugely aspirational brand, with reports across the UK about people paying remarkable amounts per bottle.
I was asked for £15 when I tried to buy a bottle in a London newsagent before Christmas.
And to be honest, having tasted the drink, I'm not sure I would buy it again at its £2-ish regular price.
But for my son and his school-aged friends, sharing a selfie showing your collection of Prime bottles is a huge deal.
And KSI has been telling his followers not to pay ridiculous amounts for the drink.
For me, this shows just how powerful the most famous YouTube influencers are.
I expect the upcoming KSI documentary to do great business for Prime Video - and a big pat on the back to Dan Grabiner at Amazon for suggesting the idea to Louis Theroux.
And the phenomenal ability of top creators to drive audience is creating a new opportunity for social producers, too. In this new article by Charley Sutton, Director of Video at Jungle Creations, it becomes clear that savvy producers are repositioning themselves to work with creators to deliver successful shows and formats for brands.
So as ad values on social drop off for social publishers, expect to see the canniest companies collaborating on TV-style formats with influencers a whole lot more often.
Apple thinking ahead with their upcoming VR hardware
According to reports from CES earlier this month, VR, AR and immersive technology is what content innovation is all about in hardware for 2023.
And the one piece of luxury kit that is likely to bring virtual reality to the masses is Apple's rumoured VR Headset.
With a stellar track record of hardware innovation, design and delivery, Apple is likely to build something significant.
I expect this release to be seminal - an iPhone 3 type moment.
If they get the hardware right, you will start to see a VR headset in a big percentage of medium to high-income homes.
What really makes the difference for Apple versus the competition is its loyal subscription customer base.
With around a billion iPhone users, Apple has a huge set of relatively wealthy people that buy services and products from them each month.
That can't be said for Meta - even with their 10m headsets allegedly sold to date - or any of the other existing consumer VR competitors.
Apple has an unfair advantage over the competition - and I can't wait to see how they leverage that in VR.
Let's see if we get to immerse ourselves at the Apple Developers conference in June.
Taking Hollywood photography digital - new episode of THE BIG SWING PODCAST drops on Saturday
I love an industry disruptor - and one of my heroes is the legendary photographer and entrepreneur Paul Harris.
Paul was the go-to for Hollywood’s A-list celebrities (and beyond) in the 1980s and 1990s. He counts Hunter S Thompson, Richard Nixon, Muhammed Ali, Carrie Fisher and the Williams sisters among the long list of icons who have trusted him to photograph their portraits.
But Paul is also a pioneering businessman who helped transform how photo agencies work, setting the digital template for how all agencies operate today.
Paul’s extraordinary story is about how a passion and love for photojournalism and a keen interest in emerging technology combined into a true trailblazing business success.
From humble beginnings as a local photographer in Devon, England, via war photography in Southern Africa, Paul ended up in Los Angeles during a golden era of analogue news photography.
But it was only when he started to discover the potential of digital photography that Paul's biggest opportunity presented itself...
You can check out the full episode which premieres at 7 pm on Saturday here
Have a great weekend!