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Reviewing ESPN’s record-setting 2014 in digital media

ESPN Digital Usage Report 14.12 FR

Dave Coletti (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)
Dave Coletti (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Earlier today ESPN announced that in 2014, ESPN Digital Media enjoyed the most prolific year in sports category history, according to comScore’s Multi-Platform Data report.

The numbers are staggering. Throughout 2014, U.S. sports fans visited ESPN digital media products 9.97 billion times, consumed 82.8 billion minutes of content, streamed WatchESPN programming for 12.9 billion minutes, viewed ESPN video clips 4.8 billion times, and spent 28.5 billion total minutes on ESPN mobile apps.

Vice President of Digital Media Research & Analytics, Dave Coletti, explains what it all means:

How did ESPN Digital Media lead the sports category and set all-time records throughout 2014?
From an analytics perspective, our success is due to how we continue to be smarter about the way we use data to make decisions. Over the past year, we’ve conducted exhaustive analysis about our performance across content types, devices, platforms, and day parts. We’ve also done a series of multi-faceted studies on our competition. All of those insights have enabled us to develop better strategies for building, programming, marketing and distributing our digital content.

Your team has emphasized engagement and the average minute audience metric over the years, especially before comScore came out with its multi-platform report almost two years ago. With ESPN Digital leading in virtually every metric, is AMA still important?
Average minute audience certainly remains important, but we also continue to use a variety of metrics to gauge our performance. In a world where more and more users are migrating their consumption from computers to mobile devices, we focus intently on how many fans we reach each day and how often they visit.

Never before has our work been more important, the business challenges bigger, the questions more complicated, the resources more powerful.
– Dave Coletti

What is ESPN Research and Analytics looking forward to this year in terms of digital measurement?
There’s so much to be excited about. This year we’ll continue to improve our data infrastructure capabilities – initiatives like VADR (Viewer Analytics Data Repository) – which enable us to undertake more complex data integrations, perform more advanced analytics functions, and create more sophisticated performance dashboards to make smarter, real-time decisions.

We’ll also continue to be at the forefront of designing measurement for the new world of content distribution, setting new industry standards on how we track usage across platforms with our research and analytics partners. Never before has our work been more important, the business challenges bigger, the questions more complicated, the resources more powerful. It’s a pretty amazing time to be in the field of research and analytics.

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