Just general surfing stuff

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crabmeat thompson
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by crabmeat thompson » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:29 am

black duck wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:18 pm
crabmeat thompson wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:27 pm
channels wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:11 pm
NC, Kraig.

The possibility of the tour behind a paywall? Does the WSL think there are that many people keen to cough up to watch an event?
it would end in tears.

the amount of people watching the events have been on a steady decline since the World Tour went from ASP to WSL. Core surfers are turned off by the mainstream attempt to popularise surfing. Australians are tuning out due to the americanisation (and seriousness) of the production.

wsl must be putting all their eggs in the cashed up brazilian market, because not many aussies will buy it.


i have zero interest in the wsl until they change the event & heat formats. I've totally lost interest in watching it. If I didn't have to touch base with it all for work, i wouldn't know any results!
I don't buy that. Do you have figures to back the steady decline Crabby? Regardless of the comp format (same as before basically) and the cheesy friendly sanitised presentation thing they insist on (also same as before), the comps have never been better. Almost everything about the presentations is better. More cameras, more angles, faster, better replays, more specialist analysis from guys like Barton and Thompson. The internet version of the comps is way better than it was a few years ago. For the most part it's also the same surfers as 5 years ago, besides a few rookies. The venues haven't changed either. What's the difference? Do you have figures? Be interested to see if there is a difference.

Before the wsl changed webcast providers - where now they're viewing numbers are masked - the numbers were declining steadily.

There has been some youtube viewing numbers and facebook live stuff where as little as 2000 odd ppl have been tuned into finals of events. This was published on twitter a little while back.

The fact they've failed to get another headline sponsor, while several other smaller sponsors have dropped out... indicates the decline is still on. These advertisers would demand viewing numbers.

Anecdotally, the ppl i come across and talk to both in my work and personal surf circles, the numbers and interest for it is down. Significantly.

Comp viewing numbers (historically) have lived and died by the swells and the surfers.

Swell wise, they scored Margs and Jbay. Id be amazed if they weren't the two most watched events this year.

And surfer wise. No personalities, no rivalries, no dominant figure/s, the wsl micro managing everything they say.

imo if the wsl go PPV, it'll be all she wrote.
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Yuke Hunt » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:11 am

I'd like to see Vince McMahon take control of professional surfing. When it comes to running pantomimes, he's the best.
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buddy
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by buddy » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:15 am

Anyone had experience with one of these? There's one on gumtree I'm considering. http://www.bourtonshapes.com/the-stinger/

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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Yuke Hunt » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:46 am

buddy wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:15 am
Anyone had experience with one of these? There's one on gumtree I'm considering. http://www.bourtonshapes.com/the-stinger/
Image

Murray is a highly regarded shaper, he has also worked closely with Bruce McKee in the past, and that board looks mighty fine.
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Nick Carroll » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:53 am

channels wrote:
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:11 pm
NC, Kraig.

The possibility of the tour behind a paywall? Does the WSL think there are that many people keen to cough up to watch an event?
Ha ha they'd want to have a rock solid product to do that.

I reckon you could paywall an individual event that you knew was gonna be epic. The same way as UFC/boxing does. It just wouldn't generate all that much money, nowhere near enough to justify the loss of viewers over time.

Contrary to ol crabmeat's call, the viewer draw has increased a bit over the WSL's tenure and has stabilised at around 3.5 million overall unique viewers over a full year of CTs. This sounds like not very much at all when compared with a lot of other sports, but the whole quantity theory is starting to take a bit of a back seat these days in sports/influencer/etc circles. 3.5 million regularly committed fans is actually something worth having; it can be turned into something valuable.

Here's one thing to consider: most paywalls radically overcharge. That's how they lose viewers. They're frantically trying to make up for loss of magazine subs/ad revenue in many cases -- huge sums of money. But they aren't being clear in the head about it and about consumers' changing habits online. You can keep a lot of viewers if you just don't charge very much. Look at cloud storage, or Spotify, Apple Music etc, what do they charge? Seemingly fcuk all, $5-10 a month? Put that on your cc and you don't even notice it's gone. Crozzy the Millennial will tell you old people about this. But tell someone you want $80 or $100 off 'em for something on the InterNet and they'll shy away.

What if the WSL asked its fan base for $2.50 a month? Kept a good percentage of them on that basis? It might be worth $20 million a year. Maybe more.

They wrote it off under Speaker and from what I can see of Sophie Goldschmidt's record I would imagine they'll put it on the table for a minute then put it aside in favour of developing a much wider range of partnerships etc. But it'll keep coming back to the table. Paywall theory is still developing.

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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by alakaboo » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:25 am

Of that 3.5 million, I'd guess about 750k are middle aged men with a propensity to direct debit and the rest are dodgy Brazilian fuckers and millennial pirates.
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Yuke Hunt » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:30 am

Dodgy Brazilian fuckers
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steve shearer
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by steve shearer » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:29 am

Nick Carroll wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:53 am

Contrary to ol crabmeat's call, the viewer draw has increased a bit over the WSL's tenure and has stabilised at around 3.5 million overall unique viewers over a full year of CTs.
I wonder what that actually means? Is that over a full year 3.5million separate people?
What does that equal in terms of actual audience per event?
How many of those 3.5million are rusted on fans who would pay, even a little bit.

And where did that number come from?

PPV may or may not be inevitable for pro surfing ......the UFC guy they have in certainly has that as part of his work experience so is well placed to intro the idea .

A very big problem is that people have a very big resistance to paying from something they have been getting for free without some major upgrade or overhaul of the product.
And I can't help thinking the WSL missed the golden opportunity to overhaul the product and introduce paywalls when they first took control of the sport. They had a whole year to assess the sport under the old ownership and decided to change exactly nothing about the product. They did everything possible to change the wrapping but not the product itself. A product that the market had tested and rejected time and time again over 30 years.

Which brings us to now. They need to radically overhaul the product: format, locations, rosters etc etc and bring that in with PPV......there'll be resistance but at least they will have something to sell.
At the moment they have stale fish which they are struggling to give away....they can't expect people to line up to pay for it.

There is just simply too much low/zero consequence dross to sit through to pay for it.
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Yuke Hunt » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:43 am

While I do like watching professional surfing, I'd like to see some other variants too, like skins and/or team events. Pro-surfers don't have massive rosters like other sports such as golf or tennis, so adding some stand alone events to the schedule wouldn't be so hard. There's a myriad of options available if they want to look outside the box.
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foamy
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by foamy » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:47 am

I don't think 3.5 million can mean 3.5 million separate people. At best, it is 3.5 million unique devices.
If you check the WSL site on your phone, then pop into the site on your work computer, then later on your Ipad, you would be counted as 3 unique viewers.

To add to the multiplication, are these counts still being done by cookies because, if so, if you delete your cookies you will count as a new person the next time you go to the site.

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Davros
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Davros » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:53 am

I'd pay to watch Pipe and J Bay IF it was great surf. That's it.

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Cranked
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Cranked » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:04 am

foamy wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:47 am
I don't think 3.5 million can mean 3.5 million separate people. At best, it is 3.5 million unique devices.
If you check the WSL site on your phone, then pop into the site on your work computer, then later on your Ipad, you would be counted as 3 unique viewers.

To add to the multiplication, are these counts still being done by cookies because, if so, if you delete your cookies you will count as a new person the next time you go to the site.
Good points foamy. It would have been nice to know the number of signed up users, that would be a better gauge of their viewers.
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steve shearer
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by steve shearer » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:07 am

I'd pay a monthly fee like spotify or netflix but I want something more than what they offer now.

And I want my personal welcome email from Sophie like Carroll got.
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Davros
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Davros » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:30 am

^ packages could work. What would you want for 11.99 per month?

a) welcome pack consisting of:

i) JJF mask (includes elastic). Great for events and spicing up the bedroom
ii) 10 dollar gift voucher for a Fire Wire Sci Fi
iii) 5 free coupons for a yet to be built wave pool
Iv) scratch and sniff Alana Blanchard botton turn poster
v) 30 min Facetime coffee date with the Brazilian surfer of your choice
vi) Jack Freestones branded Valium. For when you just need to sleep
vii) a brand new extremely scratched Ash Grunwald CD to hang in your garden to scare the Brush Turkeys away


b) Media Package

i) all WSL events on line
ii) judges tent. You get to score the event. Pooled totals decide the event. Official judges constitently at odds with fans are fired
iii) QS highlights package of the worst waves for the month. We need to know
iv) the alternative board Masters event in the Maldives. 1 min package commentated by Barton Lynch. 2 minutes and you would blow your brains out. We all know Rasta wins anyway.

v) all the Insta you can handle

vi) a block on any media coverage by Occy. Worth the monthly fee alone

vii) *a free subscription to Coastalwatch Cams

What would you want?

* that was a joke
Last edited by Davros on Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:21 am, edited 14 times in total.

channels
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by channels » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:36 am

steve shearer wrote:
Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:29 am

There is just simply too much low/zero consequence dross to sit through to pay for it.
This.

Don't care for the no losers round 1 or 4. Don't care for Brazil or the French leg. Unless its pumping, Margs and Bells are average and/or only a few surfers can adapt to those waves. Too many meaningless heats with surfers that are making up the numbers and can't match it with JJF, Toledo etc.

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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by 2nd Reef » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:50 am

WSL viewers have been slowly rising the last few years. Not a great amount but the upwards trend is easily tracked via the link management platforms the WSL uses. Quantification ain't rock solid using this method but the trend is.

The good thing about it - link tracking that is - is you can also see where the traffic is coming from and it's no surprise to see Europe and Brazil, the 'new' surfing nations expand while the old ones plateau. Partly this is demographic, but I also wager it's to do with the slow vanillaisation of the sport. New fans in America, Hawaii, and Australia equal the amount they lose through disinterest. I doubt the WSL cares about this; they're going to have to change the sport to make it viable, it'll piss off the old walruses, but the new audience wont mind.

PPV is a long shot, the comps are too staggered in both times (of the day) and time zones. Plus there's venue security - how many cameras overlook Pipe or Snapper? - and also the increasing prevalence of pirate streams. Surfers will be the kings of that shit.

Another thing going against PPV is WSL's new partnership with Facebook 'Watch'. For my mind this is the way of the future for the WSL. FB is going all out to smother YouTube and they're paying huge bucks to transform from a social media network to an entertainment network. Expect big changes on FB as they reconfigure how we use it. They've got some things to iron out but it's merely a matter of 'watch this space'.

My prediction is the upcoming “WSL Surfing Sundays” that'll play on Facebook 'Watch' will expand to a 24 hour channel including any CT webcast that's running, and the WSL is betting that'll we'll all watch it. Going on history I reckon that's a safe bet. And from there they'll figure a way to monetise it. Again, I reckon they'll pull it off.

Don't equate the current Facebook Live streams with Facebook 'Watch'. Different tech and Facebook 'Watch' will have a mercurial marketing push.

Since the WSL assumed ownership they've been amazingly fluid with their strategies. They've tried many different things, and the things that haven't worked they've quickly tossed aside and replaced. Gotta hand them that.
Last edited by 2nd Reef on Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Davros
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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by Davros » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:52 am

Real Surfers on WSL payroll:

2nd Reef

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Re: Just general surfing stuff

Post by 2nd Reef » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:53 am

Ha...I didn't even get a letter from Sophie.

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