YES Network App Logs Record Usership With New Expanded Pick-N-Play Live Interactivity, YES Rewards




undefinedTuesday, May 7, 2024

Congratulations to the YES Network for constantly setting new records! In a recent story published by SVG, Thursday, May 2, 2024, Matt Duarte talked about some of the latest features and setting new records for unique streams on the YES App, well worth the read:

We’re a month into the Major League Baseball season, and one of the early headlines has been the return to form of the New York Yankees. The buzz around the Bronx Bombers has led to a red-hot start for its regional broadcast partner, YES Network.

A slew of new interactive features and services, not to mention winning, have the YES App smashing usership records over the first few weeks of the 2024 Yankees campaign. On two occasions already, the app has logged its highest concurrent peak viewership for a single game: on both Opening Day and the fourth game of the season (the final game of a four-game season-opening series with the Houston Astros).

The YES App opened the 2024 New York Yankees season with an expanded Pick-N-Play Live game, which is integrated directly into the live-streaming experience on mobile devices, tablets, and the web.

“We had anticipated a strong start based on the hype around Spring Training,” says Matt Duarte, VP, strategy and business development, YES Network, “but it was a nice surprise that we not only set the record on Opening Day but came back and broke the record again that following Sunday. I think that shows the demand for the product on the field and how compelling these guys are this year. Hopefully, for us, fans enjoy watching it on our experience. Our production team and our digital team have done a good job capitalizing on close games [through notifications]. That drives a ton of traffic, and we see it.”

According to YES Network, viewers are watching games longer on the app this season — by a significant margin: average watch time per user per game is 78% longer than for the first 25 games of 2023.

Fans watching Yankees games in the YES App have noticed that the network has continued to expand its already robust offering of interactive games, live-stats overlays, and the industry’s first app-based loyalty rewards program.

Gamification Drives Interactivity, Rewards Loyalty

In YES Network’s Pick-N-Play Live game, users can answer trivia questions and much more within the same streaming environment where they are watching the live game. Powered by Kero Sports, the free-to-play, real-time Live, which launched in 2022 on the YES App, now features what the network is calling “dynamic questions”: the trivia and prediction-based questions are fully within the storytelling context of the game.

During the game, users accumulate YES Coins, which are converted to YES Rewards points and redeemed for gift cards to such brands as Amazon, Uber Eats, Lowe’s, Ulta Beauty, Dunkin’, DoorDash, GrubHub, Wayfair, Adidas, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

“We are creating that connective tissue around all the different features that we offer,” says Duarte, adding that, on Pick-N-Play Live, “we’ve refreshed basically what that experience is like to make it more proactive and open to more fans as opposed to last year, when you had to seek and choose what you think is going to happen.”

The YES development team – which includes Senior Manager, Strategy & Business Development Jonathan Zarrilli, Product Manager, YES App Trent Shillingford, and Data Insights Analyst Antonio Parada – has added a chat feature to Pick-N-Play Live. It has helped drive the feature’s highest number of users ever for a single game this season while quadrupling the average players per game versus the same stretch from the 2023 season.

Additionally, YES Rewards thanks users who serve as the product’s best advocates. New in 2024, YES App users can receive up to 100,000 YES Rewards points for referring friends and family to buy a YES App standalone subscription. Anyone who refers a friend receives a unique code that, when redeemed, earns points applicable at the new YES Rewards Store, where they can buy YES-branded Yankees merchandise.

All these new layers and synergies required hard work with vendor partners like LiveLike and subscription/profile-management service Evergent. Additionally, Stellar Elements supports UI in the app experience, helping create checks and balances and accuracy of the user experience on the backend.

Increased Usership, Migration to Connected Devices Keep Focus on Image Quality

Another emerging trend in the live streaming of sports these days is the proliferation of connected devices and the migration of streaming audiences to the big screen in their homes (powered by Ease Live),

The YES App entered the 2024 Yankees season with launches on LG Smart TV and Vizio Smart TV. It has been available on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Google TV, and Samsung Smart TVs as well.

Although most of the interactivity features launched this season are aimed at mobile, web, and tablets, the YES team regularly thinks about how these features can soon migrate to a connected TV environment

“We understand that the number of people watching through the app on those big screens is growing,” says Duarte. “We want to tailor that experience as much as we can to them. When we talk about time spent going up, a lot of that is people moving to connected devices. The more people are subscribing directly to us, the more we see that they want to watch the biggest, best screen they can.”

Connected devices are an interesting area for sports broadcasters. Television sets require high-level image quality but offer fewer opportunities for interactive experiences that aren’t clunky. Additionally, big-screen viewers might simply be more inclined to want a lean-back experience or wish for their interactivity to be more on a second screen, unlike their mobile counterparts who might generally be more interested in gamification and interactivity presented simultaneously in a streaming environment.

Read the full story on SVG here

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