My Shout

Amazon needs to be transparent for pubs to use services

By Dom Collingwood

- Last updated on GMT

Inauspicious start: while Amazon is arguably too big to fail here, leaving publicans out in the cold feels like an unnecessary misstep, according to Dom Collingwood (L)
Inauspicious start: while Amazon is arguably too big to fail here, leaving publicans out in the cold feels like an unnecessary misstep, according to Dom Collingwood (L)

Related tags: Sport, Alcoholic beverage, Public house

It’s not been the most encouraging entry to the market from Amazon with a dearth of information and a disappointing lack of transparency, says Matchpint co-founder Dom Collingwood.

For pubs, this has meant cultivating the two factors key to any successful on-trade sports event – strong marketing and awareness among customers – has been difficult.

It’s clear the tech giant is using the Premier League as a bid to gain personal customers for its Prime service, but a key factor in successful entries into the UK broadcasting market has been a close working relationship with pubs.

While Amazon is arguably too big to fail here, leaving publicans out in the cold feels like an unnecessary misstep.

Despite BT Sport making pricing publicly available last week, details remain sketchy at best. The release stated that premises with a rateable value between £8,000 and £15,000 will pay £315 for the two gameweek Amazon Sport package. There's no word on other-sized independent businesses, while one managed pub working with MatchPint was quoted £385 and another £460.

Yet, the fact remains there is still a big opportunity for pubs on the cards.

The best indicator we have is by looking at when BT Sport entered the market and the effect it had on search traffic for pubs showing sports fixtures.

In the first season of BT Sport’s existence, MatchPint saw a whopping 56% more fans searching for BT Sport fixtures versus those on Sky Sports.

Driving this was the fact that during this period, there were 50% fewer pubs advertising BT Sports v Sky. Six and a half years later, the number of pubs and searches have pretty much levelled out.

A survey of MatchPint users in November 2019 showed more than 62% of sports fans don’t have an Amazon Prime subscription. Combine this with a growing public suspicion of big tech, especially its effect on competition and privacy, means there will be plenty of people who, come 3 December, didn’t know they could watch the games at home or are unwilling to sign up to Amazon Prime personally. Throw in those who simply prefer the pub experience to the home the prize is considerable.

With higher search volumes and fewer pubs showing games, the chance to be potentially the only venue in your town that’s showing A-grade is a rare opportunity.

Compared to signing up to a whole new channel for at least a season, Amazon’s entry is much lower risk for pubs. It’s the right to show up to 20 games over 5 days in December. If games don’t capture the interest of fans, you’re not locked into anything long term.

Taking the £460 price point given, and an average cost per beer of £3, you’d only have to sell an extra 306 pints to break even.


Further reading:

Amazon enters Premier League jungle​ - With the broadcasting landscape set to change drastically next season with Amazon’s Premier League debut, we ask industry experts what pubs can expect

Amazon makes Premier League available for pubs and clubs​ - Amazon Prime’s exclusive Premier League fixtures for the 2019-20 season will be made available to pubs and clubs via the ‘Amazon Premier League pass’.

Publicans ‘won’t have much of an option but to buy’ Amazon Premier League Pass​ - With less than a third of pub-going sports fans currently forking out for home subscriptions, the local seems a prime location to watch Premier League games on Amazon. But how viable is it for pubs?

Amazon Prime announces festive fixture schedule​ - Kick-off times for the 20 festive Premier League fixtures available via Amazon Prime Video have been revealed.

BT Sport reveals price of Amazon Premier League Pass​ - Broadcaster BT Sport has revealed how much pub and bar operators will have to pay to screen Amazon’s Premier League fixtures in December.

Related topics: Sport

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