Perform looks to Facebook to increase ad rates

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2011 1:53 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - British digital sports rights media firm Perform expects to be able to increase its advertising rates around video by employing more scientific data, such as that provided by Facebook, to target marketing at viewers.

Perform, which provides live sports video, news and data to third parties and its own websites for viewing and gambling, said rates had held steady in recent years and it was now looking at ways to improve its targeting.

Speaking at the Reuters Global Media Summit, joint Chief Executive Oliver Slipper said better targeting would be key to making its platform more attractive to brands.

"There is a scope to drive (rates) up but it requires an element of data, hence why we're looking at things like the Facebook connect platform which would enable you to understand a lot more data about the consumer that is actually viewing your video," he said.

"The real value is in knowing details about the customer."

Online ad sales have grown rapidly in recent years largely because they finely target consumers in a way that print media and TV cannot match.

Google and Amazon initially pioneered the trend by analyzing web surfing and Internet searches to target customers' tastes.

Facebook however brings a new level of sophistication to the game: mining data from its social network about users' likes and dislikes as well as those of friends to better target ads.

Its influence is also spreading as other websites such as the Perform-owned site goal.com can now allow people to enter via their Facebook login instead of with a separate password.

Users can then share content and post messages within those sites as they would do on the social network, which in turn allows the website to access their profile and determine the user's likes and dislikes.

"It allows a two-way sharing of data between the site and Facebook," he said.

Slipper said while growing ad rates, Perform would also continue to look for acquisitions in consumer portals and online content to boost its overall proposition.

"We've got a good pipeline. We will look to try and close one or two deals before the end of this year," he said.

"We have goal.com which is about football and we're looking at opportunities in cricket and rugby and for opportunities in sports data, which is an incredibly important component of web and mobile usage in sport."

(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Mike Nesbit)