The largest daily fantasy sports operators are starting to become legitimate multimedia providers.
DraftKings, Inc., the sports-tech and media entertainment platform, is partnering with TuneIn, the world’s leading streaming audio network, to enhance the fantasy sports user experience. DraftKings will now be able to give customers direct play-by-play access to the sports, games and athletes that matter most to them in one place.
TuneIn brings the noise
TuneIn is one of the most widely used audio platforms in the world.
More than 75 million people use the service every month, consuming a wide range of content from all over the world. In short, almost anything that is available in audio form can be found on TuneIn. You can listen to a radio station from Brazil or a cooking show from Croatia.
Or a Major League Baseball game from Yankee Stadium.
TuneIn’s partnerships with major sports leagues allow them to broadcast live sporting events, too. With the newest announcement, those games will be available directly within the DraftKings website and apps.
There’s an exchange of advertising involved, and users will need a TuneIn Premium subscription to listen to in-game audio.
TuneIn was already occupying some DraftKings real estate after the deal, with a banner ad and a full-page wrap around the lineups and contests pages.
You’ll likely be hearing some DraftKings ads in your earbuds, as well.
DraftKings brings the funk
Daily fantasy sports operators have dabbled in audio for a long time, sponsoring podcasts since the beginning. And sports content features prominently within the TuneIn app, indicative of a strong appetite from its customers.
In 2015, DraftKings created The Daily Fantasy Edge hosted by its sponsored pros, Adam Levitan, Al Zeidenfeld and Peter Jennings. In the first episode, Levitan mused about the future of the format.
“I think this year will be better because you don’t have to look at us. You can just listen to us,” Levitan said. The trio had transitioned from a streaming video format the year prior. “I think that on-demand listening is the way that the future is going. On-demand everything.”
The Edge was the company’s first in-house audio product, and it’s been a prolific one. It’s already had more than 150 editions.
DraftKings also sponsors the long-running The Pat Mayo Experience. Mayo covers all the sports in detail, and he provides some crossover appeal with his reality television content, too.
Both programs are available on TuneIn — just search for “DraftKings.”
DFS clients as all-in-one sports platforms
Fantasy sports are all about the sweat, and DFS operators seem to be increasingly aware of that. Audio integration is the most recent in the list of enhancements the “big two” have made as they aim to capture a larger chunk their customers’ sports time.
Throughout a weekend of sports, a user might rely on a handful of content sources and formats. They visit analytics sites and listen to strategy podcasts for intel throughout the week. Then they use the DFS client to create lineups and enter them into contests. Then they leave again, headed off to the couch or the bar to sweat the games.
Companion apps are one way that DFS operators have tried to retain some of that escaping traffic. DraftKings’ DK Live and FanDuel’s Scout are branded content platforms that are separate from the game clients.
Sports data company numberFire powers FanDuel’s app, which is positioned as a pregame research tool. DK Live includes live fantasy scoring and on-the-fly updates, making it a near-comprehensive tool for sweating the games.
All that’s missing is a way to consume the actual games themselves. Staring at a bunch of numbers hoping they’ll move becomes the proverbial watched pot after a while. And so far, at least, there’s no way to watch the games directly within a DFS interface.
Audio is the next best thing, though, and the TuneIn partnership provides a useful option for those who prefer that format.