How iGameMedia Leverages Ultra-Low Latency Video Streaming to Maximize Viewer Engagement and ROI for Sportsbook Content
At a Glance
iGameMedia is an innovative global leader in the aggregation and distribution of live sporting events to the sports betting industry. They are delivering some of the world's top-tier events from the stadium to the customer for their rights partners including Infront, Sportradar, StatsPerform and Genius Sports.
As a company with over 15 years of expertise, iGameMedia specializes in managing the technical infrastructure and API development that powers a unified experience and access point for sportsbooks and platform providers such as bet365, Pragmatic, Entain, Betfred, Kaizen, Tipsport, Fonbet, Winline and many more.
iGameMedia invests heavily in innovative video technology from encoding, distribution, quality of service, and accessibility, streamlining technical efforts to deliver live streams effectively for sportsbooks.
Today, the backbone of most sportsbooks lies in data-driven market decisions. Data is very quick with latencies of only 1-2 seconds. This swift data fuels instant highlights, push notifications, scoreboard graphics, and interactive in-play betting overlays, all working together to enrich viewer experiences and keep users updated on every game development.
However, there is a disconnect between video and data latency. The video has a latency of 7-9 seconds with standard HLS, commonly used by sportsbook operators today. This means the video lags at least 5 seconds behind the data, impacting the synchronization of viewer engagement. While data overlays offer crucial insights, the worst experience a user can have is when a data overlay already reveals what’s happening in the game, thereby spoiling the live streaming experience.
In this respect, two metrics become critical for sportsbooks: user engagement and page retention. iGameMedia recognized the untapped potential in aligning video and data latency. This alignment could enable sportsbooks to significantly boost user engagement time with the live stream, preventing users from navigating away or being distracted by suspended markets or out-of-sync video with data. As a direct outcome of increased user engagement, users spend more time on the sportsbook website, leading to increased page retention and heightened user interaction within the sportsbook ecosystem.
In search of a solution for ultra-low latency video streaming, iGameMedia explored various options. In addition to latency, scalability was also a key requirement. Collaborating with multiple sportsbooks worldwide adds unpredictability to viewer numbers, so compromising on scalability – including for regions with less robust Internet infrastructure, such as Latin America – was not an option.
Upon discovering THEOlive, they recognized it as the perfect fit. THEOlive leverages the High Efficiency Streaming Protocol (HESP), which uses the same infrastructure as HLS, and hence brings the same benefits in terms of scalability, so that sportsbooks can scale to any audience size, and easily handle flash crowds.
By integrating THEOlive into iGameMedia’s ONEPlatform, sportsbooks now have the option to stream their content in ultra-low latency. The total end-to-end latency has reduced from 7-9 seconds to around 1 second, ensuring synchronization between live video and the data feed.
“When we discovered THEOlive, it was an ideal match—not just technologically for ultra-low latency, but also in terms of scalability. It leverages the existing CDN infrastructure that HLS has sat on for many years. It’s reliable and tested. We view it as the future of streaming and consider this our investment in video technology, aiming to boost sportsbooks customer experience for each game.”
Commercial Director of iGameMedia
Aligning video and data latency to around 1 second brings a number of benefits for sportsbooks and platform providers:
- Increased User Engagement & Page Retention: With 7-9 seconds of latency, the average user page retention might only be 2 to 3 minutes of a 90-minute football match. By delivering live sports streams with ultra-low latency, the live stream is synchronized with the live data feed. Therefore, viewers will organically engage more with video content and other products offered by sportsbooks, which increases page retention, and in turn bolsters the in-play betting product.
- Competitive Edge: Offering ultra-low latency video streams in sync with data feeds provides an advanced product and user experience, setting sportsbooks apart from their competitors. The high quality of service and technological innovation becomes a compelling factor for attracting new users and retaining existing ones.
- Foundation for Interactivity: Ultra-low latency streaming serves as a foundation for a more interactive user experience. Sportsbooks can leverage this to introduce data overlays like instant highlights, in-play betting options, key statistics and much more, further enhancing overall user engagement.
- Justified ROI on Video Content: By increasing viewers' page retention times, it also extends betting windows and offers additional in-play betting market opportunities. In case user engagement times would double or triple compared to standard HLS delivery, it’s easier to demonstrate ROI for live content.
“We're excited to collaborate with iGameMedia in bringing ultra-low latency sports streaming to sportsbooks and platform providers. Our common passion for technology innovation is a key enabler for new interactive user experiences, striving to offer users a universal experience as if they are right at the venue.”
CEO of THEO Technologies
iGameMedia (www.igamemedia.com) is an innovative global leader in the aggregation and distribution of live sporting events to the sports betting industry. Delivering some of the world’s top-tier events from the stadium to the customer for our rights partners and the ultimate user experience.
iGameMedia ONE Platform is a content aggregation and integration platform solution delivering all digital sports content provisions through a unified content API, supported with 100% fixture mapping consistency across key content providers.
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