This is the first in a series of posts related to GoPro. While they are a hardware company by trade they are also trying to become a content company. I think they can do it but they have to want to do it.
GoPro has gotten hammered over the last year as far as Wall Street is concerned. While their earnings this past week were not as bad as most analysts thought it would be, it was still a loss of $.63 per share. GoPro long ago said that they were trying to pivot into a content company but they haven’t quite been able to do it even though they pretty much own extreme sports. Here is how they can.
GoPro is getting better at finding people, sports, and event where their technology (and it is a technology) where they can dominate. For example, their snowboarding and wingsuit videos rock as do their cycling videos. Their series ‘NHL After Dark’ is impressive but these are too intermittent and not timely (most of the time). There also needs to be more of a narrative across the board.
The Tour de France is an event GoPro could and should own. While they put together highlights of various stages last year (and they looked super cool) they need to do more. Raw video after every stage and live streaming from a teams car would be a great place to start. Keeping the stage highlights is fine but there needs to be more of a narrative. Pick a couple of teams and follow them through the tour. From their training before the event to the final ride on the Champs-Élysées. They are making some efforts now but it needs to get kicked into high gear.
For the NHL, it would be cool to have live streams from a player or ref’s helmet during a game but the tech has got to get smaller. If GoPro can get a camera that is small enough as to not affect a player then there could be some super neat stuff that they could do (they are a technology company after all). It’s easier said than done but hey, when you are losing $.63 a share then you have to try something right?
Why NASCAR and GoPro are not in bed together I don’t know. NASCAR has seen it’s rating and attendance slide over the past few years. GoPro camera’s inside the car, on the pit crew, officials, etc with a highlight of each race would provide a whole new perspective on the sport and help bring in new fans. This would provide weekly content for GoPro’s channels and NASCAR runs virtually all year. GoPro already has a motorsports channel on YouTube and while MotoGP is cool, NASCAR is a much bigger brand name in America with some serious TV money.
GoPro needs to speed things up too. The videos they put out are cool but when they are only a few minutes and come out on a weekly basis (at best) it’s hard to get behind. They need to having something up everyday during a major event. Like I was saying earlier about the Tour de France, the turn around time has got to be much, much faster. Bottom line is that there is still an appetite for crisp, raw content.
Yes it is possible. I know, I did it while at the UFC. It’s hard work but completely doable.
There also needs to be more longer form content. While the raw content will ‘feed the beast’ events like the Tour de France and a NASCAR race will allow for some content that can have a total run time of 10-15 minutes. If GoPro does this right then there is a very real opportunity to turn itself into an OTT sports channel similar to Red Bull.
GoPro has obviously has other challenges to face but they have done some things recently that show that they are willing to make some bold moves. The major coup was hiring Daniel Coster from Apple’s industrial design team. With his help GoPro should be able to take a significant step forward with their equipment.
Can GoPro become a true content company? I think so but they need to get on the ball and start telling compelling stories and deliver them on a regular basis.