Kayo cements independence from Foxtel with bold digital push

Josh McDonnell
By Josh McDonnell | 30 November 2018

Kayo, Foxtel's recently launched sports streaming service, has said independent branding is key to the service's success as it looks to carve out its place in the lucrative subscription video on demand (SVOD) space.

Launching in a beta testing period last month, Kayo is the result of the growing consumer demand for Foxtel to offer its comprehensive sports offering as an independent package.

The site allows users to stream over 50 live sports live and on-demand, including major sporting codes such as the NRL, AFL, A-League, Cricket and Rugby.

Speaking to AdNews, Kayo CEO Julian Ogrin said being an independent brand is key part of the service's marketing strategy, with Kayo focused on driving a subscriber base in the 18-35-year-old market.

"Kayo is an operation that is run end-to-end as a separate operating model," Ogrin said.

"Our network, product platforms, customer service, all our marketing and sales teams run independently of the Foxtel group.

"When you are dealing with the streaming generation, their expectations of the service and the product experience is different to whether you see a show on free-to-air or whether you see it on Pay TV."

Ogrin said it was important to take a digital-heavy marketing strategy for the brand because of the nature of the consumer, who also have high expectations of sports coverage.

While the brand has ruled out TV as part of its marketing mix, Kayo's strategy is focused heavily around social media, with multiple campaigns running across both Instagram and Facebook.

"We have two types of digital marketing strategies. There is the classic paid and branded search and affiliate home marketing strategy that can drive an efficient culture acquisition that gets you brand awareness, but also drives a call to action," Ogrin said.

"The second is what we are calling event marketing. This is where Kayo has an upper hand because we can market our platform in-event, calling on fans in attendance at the cricket for example to use our platform."

On the traditional side, Kayo is currently running outdoor ads and radio spots throughout summer.

In addition to extensive paid search, social and programmatic activity, Kayo is working with some of the "key affiliate publishers" in the digital space including comparison websites, Finder.com.au, CompareTV, as well as content publishers, such as The Roar and Fairfax's Allure Media.

There are also several deeper integrations planned over the coming weeks, with the aim of providing "advanced advertising solutions" to fit the customer’s needs.

"We are testing a lot of different activity from the campaign's inception with the aim of identifying publishers and activity that will allow us to scale quickly, while maintaining relevance to the brand and audience," Ogrin said.

"All of this is underpinned with a deep understanding of data and how we can leverage this to provide a more personalised experience for our users.

"We have also, in a short period of time, created a very comprehensive paid search campaign of over 850,000 keywords that covers every major sporting fixture/tournament/code that we have available, a lot of which is feed driven."

Havas is currently leading the account, tasked with building Kayo's proposition in market working across its digital marketing, PR, media and creative leveraging its agencies Host/Havas, Havas Media, Red Agency and One Green Been.

The group has been working with the newly-launched platform behind closed doors since the beginning of the year while the service was built, developing its brand name, identity and strategy.

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