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Streaming Media West Keynote: How the NFL Created NFL Now

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"Digital video consumption is so important now," noted Cory Mummery, vice president and general manager of NFL Now and NFL Media, delivering the opening day keynote address at Streaming Media West 2014. With the debut of NFL Now, the NFL's push into personalized streaming video and news, the organization attacked that digital video challenge with all of its resources.

Mummery has been with NFL Media for six years, and brought years of experience with fantasy football from his time at ESPN.

Connected device use has grown by 65 percent while TV viewing remained flat, Mummery noted, adding that U.S. adults spent 23 percent more time with mobile devices. Cord cutting is on the rise. All of that and more told the NFL that it needed to create a major play for online eyeballs.

NFL Now is like Netlfix or HBO Go, but with NFL content added, Mummery explained. The NFL adds hundreds or even thousands of new clips and shows to its site each day; consumers can't be expected to find videos that interest them. NFL Now offers personalization that brings clips people want to watch directly to them.

"This is compelling content that users really were excited to see," Mummery said. Key footage comes directly from the NFL's 32 teams. "It provides a unique insight into the clubs…The clubs was the first piece of the puzzle in terms of content."

NFL Now content also includes NFL long-form films from the organization's archives (which had to be digitized for the site, a process that's still going on), game highlights (the NFL aims to have highlights on the site within one minute), live events, original short-form videos, and exclusive content from the new NFL Now virtual studio built for this launch. All of that is funneled into a personalized stream delivered to the individual user.

Personalization is key to NFL Now. If users already use the NFL site for fantasy football, the service knows their favorite teams and players already. It also learns from consumption habits and delivers a sit-back linear experience. One thing nearly ever user enjoys is locker room speeches. "Fans love locker room speeches," Mummery said.

NLF Now launched in August, and Mummery shared some observations he's already made. Mobile and desktop use dominates on Sunday, with lots of mobile check-ins. While nearly half of all visits (49 percent) come from smartphones, the majority of video is streamed to consoles, set-top boxes, and connected TVs (52 percent).

The service is free, but offers a $1.99 per month premium plan that includes long-from video and instant highlights. The NFL isn't too concerned with monetizing NFL Now in its first year. Instead, it's experimenting, Mummery said, trying to find the point where ads don't get in the way and drive users away, but lead to more consumption.

Scroll down to watch the full keynote.


Cory Mummery of NFL Now

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