DeskSite is a California-based digital media company that’s building an app-based sports video and advertising network, which it hopes will give TV advertisers an alternative to digital video platforms like Hulu and YouTube.
Beginning via partnerships with several NFL teams, the “big screen” network is available via team-specific apps for desktops, laptops, tablets, consoles, smart TVs, and connected Blu-ray players — pretty much all digital devices outside of smartphones. Currently, DeskSite’s NFL partners include the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and Washington Redskins. Each team app contains anywhere from 20–50 hours of semi-exclusive content each month during the regular season.
With a good bulk of NFL video inventory in place, DeskSite is now looking to open its network to advertisers. Their pitch: A customized ad network that allows advertisers to market to one of the largest audiences in the US — the football fan — by age and demographic. The system works like this: Once you register for the app network, DeskSite assigns your video player with a unique demographic qualifier based on your age and gender. With this, marketers will be able to target specific viewers based on these qualifiers while controlling reach and frequency of ads.
Richard Gillam, CEO of DeskSite, explained that DeskSite’s specific demographic targeting has an advantage over sites like YouTube and Hulu, which also offer viewer statistics to potential advertisers. “Cookie blocking, cookie deletion, ‘do not track’ browser settings, and new privacy laws are crippling the ability of marketers to effectively target online video ads, much less control reach or frequency,” said Gillam. “A DeskSite’s opt-in requirement lets us know who our viewers are from the start — bringing both fans and brands a winning solution with broadcast-quality programming.”
According to the NFL, women viewers currently make up 45% of the 180 million estimated NFL viewership. With this growing demographic, DeskSite has also opened up advertising options for female-focused brands looking to reach women occupying the NFL fan space.
The company is also looking to expand to more NFL teams in 2014, with the eventual goal of bringing DeskSite apps to every team in the NFL, as well as other major US sports leagues like the NBA, MLB, and NHL.