Nov 5, 2019

DAZN plans tidal wave of free content amid acquisition spree

Olajide William Olatunji and Logan Paul onstage. Photo: Michael Tran/Getty Images

DAZN, an international sports streaming company that launched a year ago in the U.S., is on the horizon of a major live sporting events acquisition spree, sources tell Axios.

  • The company is reportedly looking to raise roughly $500 million to fund the deals.
  • For the first time, it will create free programming to make more people aware of its product in the U.S., so that they eventually become subscribers.

Driving the news: DAZN will be producing a rematch between YouTube influencers KSI and Logan Paul this Saturday.

  • Its content team will create a free "Countdown show" that will air live on YouTube, Twitter and Twitch before the event to drive subscription sign-ups. The show will feature other YouTube personalities such as Adam Saleh and Mike Maljak.

The big picture: The news comes as the company begins to ramp up production of its original programming and plans on making nearly all of its non-live content available for free off-platform, sources tell Axios.

  • The original programming DAZN plans on offering for free is viewed entirely as an awareness vehicle for the live events and athletes that are exclusive to its service.
  • For example, the service’s documentary series "40 DAYS," which teams celebrity executive producers with boxers to document the 40 days leading up to their fights, is viewed internally as a marketing play.

DAZN executives believe each piece of content they produce should fall into one of three buckets:

  1. Awareness Programming, or free stuff.
  2. Acquisition Programming, or live events that will attract new subscribers.
  3. Retention programming, like documentaries that keep people subscribed to the service between big live events.

"Each piece of content we develop must deliver on one of three areas," says Jamie Horowitz, EVP Content, DAZN North America.

  • Does it drive awareness for DAZN? Will it lead to customer acquisition? Will it retain our subscribers?”
  • "Identifying those standards has guided our decision-making process and allows us to strategically allocate our focus and resources."

Our thought bubble: Subscription media companies like The Athletic and The Information have started putting content in front of a paywall to get more people to subscribe.

  • This concept, known typically as "flexible sampling," is referenced often when digital media companies talk about keeping things in front of a paywall on search engines.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has only one novel coronavirus patient in hospital and just 22 active cases in the country, top health official Ashley Bloomfield confirmed at a briefing. He's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission," with no new cases reported for most of May, he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 5,494,287 — Total deaths: 346,229 — Total recoveries — 2,31,722Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,302 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pro-Hong Kong resolution at British university fails after Chinese student opposition

A protester waves the Hong Kong colonial flag during a July 2019 demonstration against the extradition law to China. Photo: Ivan Abreu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A student resolution expressing support for the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement was voted down at the University of Warwick in England, after opposition from mainland Chinese students.

Why it matters: The charged politics of China's actions in Hong Kong are spilling over to university campuses thousands of miles away, raising questions for students and university administrators about how to protect democratic values.