Prasana’s interview with Exchange4Media on FC’s business oobjectives

December 10, 2020

Looking at a transaction-led model, digital sports destination will focus on customer experience and personalization to build brand loyalty

Fancode business & revenue

Dream11’s parent company Dream Sports-promoted digital sports destination FanCode is looking at transaction-led revenue model to grow its business. The idea behind a transaction-led model is to provide flexibility to users by not forcing them into taking long-term subscriptions.

Founded by sports industry veterans Yannick Colaco and Prasana Krishnan, FanCode is still in the early stages of monetisation. The platform has identified content and commerce as its key focus areas.

“We are in the early stages of monetisation. We are experimenting. If you see our app we are experimenting with microtransactions. We are not forcing users to commit to long-term subscriptions. We are giving them an opportunity to view an individual match,” said FanCode co-founder Prasana Krishnan.

Krishnan cited the example of Bundesliga where football fans have the opportunity to view a single match. “In Bundesliga, we are offering fans an opportunity to subscribe to a series or an opportunity to subscribe to an individual match.”

He said that the idea is to take the price barrier out of consumers’ minds. “We will run a lot of such experiments before we zero in on a long-term business model. We are looking at a transaction-led model.”

Apart from content, the platform is also betting big on commerce. It had launched FanCode Shop on the platform to allow sports fans to buy official merchandise at an affordable price. FanCode Shop plans to use technology to innovate and deliver rapid turnaround times in both the creation and distribution of fan gear.

“One of the things that content does is bring sports fans on to the platform. What we are trying to do is to offer access to fans to official merchandise. In India, sports merchandise has a unique problem where you either have the top end of the market which is high-priced and out of reach or alternatively full of fakes. We are bringing official merchandise at an affordable price,” Krishnan elaborated.

For IPL 2020, the FanCode Shop had partnered with six IPL teams – Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Kings XI Punjab – to offer official merchandise.

According to Krishnan, revenue is never a problem as long as consumers find value in a product. He cited the example of digital content and TV where people pay are willing to pay subscription fees to watch their favourite content.

“We have seen that with digital content and TV. The end consumers have always paid for it. That is not a problem. It is a question of delivering value to the consumer which is what we are trying to do.”

FanCode will focus on customer experience and personalisation to build brand loyalty.

Launched in March 2019, FanCode offers interactive live streaming, sports fan merchandise (FanCode Shop), interactive live match scores, live commentary, fantasy sports data and statistics (Fantasy Research Hub), expert fantasy tips, and sports news.

With an eye on serving the underserved sports fans, FanCode has partnered with both domestic and international sports leagues and associations across multiple sports. The platform has showcased properties like MLB, NFL, and NBA, FIVB, New Zealand Cricket Board, West Indies Cricket Board, Bangladesh Premier League, Caribbean Premier League, Bundesliga and I-League among others.

Recently, FanCode collaborated with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) and Amazon Prime Video to exclusively live stream all NZC international matches in India for the current season (November 2020 – March 2021).

FanCode has already attained 20 million downloads in less than two years. Being part of Dream11 has played a big role in attracting users. “Our biggest strength across Dream11 and FanCode is that we are a product and tech company. We have in-house product development and tech teams. Tech is where we make our maximum investments whether it is user analytics, understanding the consumer and technology,” Krishnan noted.

FanCode had recently acquired FanDuniya, a sports research platform, to accelerate the growth and development of its comprehensive multi-sports research and statistics service for all sports fans.

Content Strategy

Krishnan said that the platform is focussing on sports that are not sufficiently covered by the sports broadcasters. It will focus on sports like cricket, football, basketball, volleyball, Kabaddi and American leagues like the NFL, MLB, and NBA.

“We are looking at under-serviced markets with live-stream. We have live-streamed MLB, NBA, and NFL. In football, we have live-streamed Bundesliga and Korean daily football. In the last one year, we have shown the Basketball World Cup, Volleyball World Cup, and Volleyball Club World Cup.”

He feels that cricket is also not covered properly if one goes beyond the top-tier cricket like ICC, BCCI, and IPL. “In cricket, we did the Caribbean Premier League, and Bangladesh Premier League. Currently, we are showcasing Bengal T20 League before this there was Andhra Pradesh T20 league. We are going deeper into cricket,” he averred.

The majority of acquisition deals being done FanCode are exclusive. However, few events have also been on non-exclusive basis. Krishnan admitted that there has been a correction in the sports media rights market. However, marquee sports properties have still retained their value. “Correction has happened on other sports as marquee events still hold their value.”

He pointed out that a sports fan today has to go to multiple touchpoints to get what he or she wants. “If you are a football fan you won’t find a single destination you will have to go to multiple destinations for content for clips for commerce for streaming. For every activity, you have to go to a different destination. It is a highly fragmented experience. We believe that consolidating that experience and providing seamless viewing experience is a great opportunity.”