Shattering the 7th Year Curse: SPIEGEL ONLINE and Süddeutsche Zeitung Now Rely Upon Tickaroo Technology
Tickaroo is flying high for its birthday. In addition to “kress pro” listing the company as one of the top specialized agencies in Germany for the second year in a row, it can now also announce two of its newest partners: SPIEGEL ONLINE and the Süddeutsche Verlag (Süddeutsche Press). With these new partners added to their repertoire, two of the biggest publishers in Germany now rely upon Tickaroo for their live coverage technology needs. This latest cooperation highlights its restructuring undertaken last fall, in which the company decided to actively pivot its focus onto the B2B industry. All this they’ve managed even within the proverbial cursed seventh year of the company’s founding.
First Sports, Now Also News: SPIEGEL ONLINE, SZ and the Might of the Liveblog
The Süddeutsche Zeitung joins the ranks of Tickaroo partners. After using Tickaroo Live Blog technology for this year’s Soccer World Cup, SZ agreed to a longterm cooperation with the company based in Regensburg. So now not only the sports journalists, but also the editors in the newsrooms are able to report on politics, regional events, and other breaking news with the help of the liveblogging software. SPIEGEL ONLINE also fully committed to Tickaroo after using the liveblogging software for short projects, like the finals of the French and US Opens, but they too recently solidified their longterm switch to the technology company. Starting this season, the news portal’s sports editors will cover soccer games from the Bundesliga and Premier League via Tickaroo Live Blog. But that’s not all. The news editors also trust the technology for other aspects of their live coverage needs and use it to deliver current happenings in their newsblog “Der Morgen @SPIEGELONLINE” (The Morning @SPIEGELONLINE).
Jörn Sucher, deputy editor-in-chief from SPIEGEL ONLINE, shares his insights on the partnership: “We’ve had good experiences with our sport coverage for a while now with Tickaroo, for example during various tennis tournaments and the Ice Hockey World Cup. We value the simple handling- an important factor by liveblogging- as well as the dependability of the product, and the speed of support in the cases where we do have questions. This is why the decision was made to use Tickaroo for our largest sport projects of the year: the Olympic Winter Games and the Soccer World Cup.”
New Partners, New Industries: How Tickaroo Works on its Own Future
After having just celebrated its seventh birthday, Tickaroo’s CEO Naomi Owusu is proud of what the company has accomplished.
“We can be satisfied with our company’s development over the past few years. Even before we began focusing on the B2B market with our new website, there was a great demand from renown publishers for the technology. We are especially delighted about the continued approval from old and new clients throughout the years. Our plans for the future include wanting to further position ourselves in vertical markets”.
Owusu especially sees potential in the areas of sports associations and event organisers.
In closing, Owusu looks back on the early years: “ In 2011, as we brought Tickaroo to life, we believed in our vision of transforming live reporting. We started in the B2C industry with sports liveblogging for fans and lower level clubs. The hobby reporters from back then accompanied us on our journey. They played a major role in allowing us to make the jump to the B2B world successfully.”
Tickaroo.FREE continues to be available in the various app stores. The professional solution for publishers, sports associations and event organizers is fee-based.
The Digital Kickoff: How Clubs Can Reinvigorate Themselves
First published in German here.
Doomed to be old-fashioned and primitive? Not in the slightest. Thanks to digitalization, now even sports clubs have numerous new possibilities at their fingertips. A snappy website, a strong social media presence, or a digital club house where information is easy to find— the 90,000+ sports clubs in Germany now have many different ways of increasing their visibility and optimizing their administrative processes. Naomi Owusu, CEO and co-founder of Tickaroo, provides practical tips for how clubs can use digitalization to their advantage.
Tip 1: Use Cross Media Channels to Reach Varied Audiences
A modern homepage is a good start. Yet, clubs have meanwhile also recognized the crucial role social media plays in communicating with fans and supporters. These days, numerous organizations consider Facebook pages to be as important, if not even more important, than a club’s own website. These pages create strong emotional connections with club members and thereby facilitate an atmosphere that allows for comparatively high interaction on posts. With this in mind, your social media content should therefore invite interaction and be suited for sharing.
However, since especially younger fans and members are continually seeking out different social media networks other than Facebook, it’s definitely worth it to create a cross medial presence over a variety of networks. The content posted on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and Co. should supplement one another and not simply be a duplication of the content found on the other platforms. While an album of the club’s last Christmas party can be uploaded to Facebook, Instagram can be used to give an athlete an opportunity to show fans a day in his or her life with its story function, like how FC Bayern Munich uses the feature on a regular basis. By using multiple networks to share varying content, it becomes more attractive for your audiences to not only to follow one page, but for them to have all channels on their radar.
While the consistent curating and creation of content for varying channels does mean putting in more effort, volunteer-run clubs shouldn’t shy away from this potential. Because authenticity is key for your club’s social media presence, and because sports fans are generally known for their intense loyalty, highly engaged fans can often be as good a resource for running social media channels as club leadership or athletes.
Tip 2: Excite Fans with Creative Content
A club’s online presence should portray a strong, current, and self-confident image of itself. Every club is different and exists solely by the strength of its members—this simple fact should be made obvious in your public relations activities. As with social media, the same concept remains true in this instance: authenticity trumps perfection. Individual members can be featured along with their dedicated participation within the organization. Smaller stories associated with club life can be portrayed multi-medially. Anecdotes are definitely worth sharing with fans. Using sponsoring relationships to create campaigns like sweepstakes or challenges is a great way to help both parties. Additionally through this tight collaboration, members and fans can get to know the club’s financial supporters better.
The Regensburg Buchbinder Legionäre are a great example of this best practice. On their homepage, the Bundesliga baseball team offers its fans a multimedia platform including livestream, player interviews, and podcasts. Fans can also not only learn more about the club and the stadium on their site, but also purchase online tickets for the next game. With the help of Eventbrite, a platform exists that allows sporting events, and the ticket sales that go alone with them, to be simply and digitally processed.
Tip 3: Effective Club Organization Thanks to Apps
Running a club requires a great deal of organization that often can only be accomplished with the dedication of volunteers. Bureaucracy is therefore usually a huge challenge. In the short run, restructuring within the club to create a comprehensive digital strategy can require a lot of effort. But in the long run, it can save quite a bit of work, time, and money. There are numerous tools and apps that digitalize club accounting or can help simplify standard processes such as field or gym reservations. For example, with their app DeinTeam, the soccer players Daniel Baier (FC Augsburg), Christian Gentner (VfB Stuttgart), Marcel Schäfer (u.a. VFL Wolfsburg) and Christian Träsch (FC Ingolstadt) have developed an app which digitalizes numerous club processes such as scheduling, giving of citations, recording of statistics, voting, etc.
Also secure messenger services such as Wire optimize communication and help with the organization of carpooling to tournaments. At the same time, they offer the required data security required now in the age of the DSGVO when dealing with online processing of personal data. Through the use of these groups and chats a kind of digital club house emerges, which can help pump up and encourage team spirit outside of game and practice times.
Accounting apps like Billomat make necessary bureaucracy easier and relieve some of the workload from your volunteer helpers and organizers.
Tip 4: Digital Support on the Practice Field
Coaches play a paramount role within any sports club. Not only do they have to make sure that their team meshes well emotionally, they are also responsible for solving conflicts. The central managers and contact people of the group, they also have their primary responsibility of fostering and providing athletic quality and improvement though their experience.
It’s important, therefore, to see digital support not as something that questions our coaches’ competence and authority, but rather offers the potential for them to hold a more effective practice. With Coach’s Eye, game strategies and plays can be drawn up and evaluated. With apps like easy2coach or taktikr, potential cuts and counterattacks can be strategically planned before carrying them out on the soccer pitch. Not just for professionals, but for the amateur level as well, these apps allow various ranges of motion and bodily values to be tracked in order to give specialized improvement tips. This data also has the potential to be used for health research at universities.
Conclusion: New Potentials for Visibility, Organization, and Practice
Digitalizing club organizational processes helps complete necessary tasks more quickly and efficiently. Through simpler processes and better communication, club members can concentrate on the real reason why they joined the group in the first place: the love of the sport and the game. Fans also profit from these new digital possibilities. With exciting social media channels and a website where they can learn everything about their favorite club, fans’ love and devotion for their club will only be strengthened. Through these digital channels, the relationship between fans and club is intensified and thus the visibility for talented athletes, potential new members, and ambitious coaches increases. Especially at the regional level, this visibility and dedication are important factors for success.
The Challenge: Licensing. The Opportunity: Storytelling. New Potential for the Sports Industry
The digitalization of the sports industry is ripe with potential for publishers, advertisers, and ambitious startups. Naomi Owusu, Co-founder and CEO of Tickaroo, shares her thoughts on broadcasting rights, licensing, business models, and why storytelling is crucial to the live news industry.
Rights and Licensing: The Balancing Act of Online Services
At the start of each season there is a sense of anticipation surrounding who will get to control the German Bundesliga’s live broadcasting rights. Which streaming services are permitted to show what? At what times? And which new providers have thrown their hats in the ring? It's meticulous work establishing at which minute after kickoff which photos are allowed to be published by which providers. This past year the DFL cashed in a record 4,65 billion Euros for all broadcasting rights until the end of the 2020/2021 season. With sums like these, new online services and even other sports, have a hard time competing to provide fans with a high quality live coverage. For organizations and leagues to be able to provide the highest quality of broadcasting, publishers need strong partners on their side.
This is how the online sports show sportdeutschland.tv was able to be founded in 2014 by the Olympic Sports Association. Other providers like sporttotal.tv want to highlight their high quality innovative camera technology to their users. However, the problem of higher costs for production technology is obvious: the refinancing of streams remains a challenge within the German market, whose variety in selection is limited compared to sports broadcasting in America. The professionalization of coverage consequently creates more challenges especially for amateur leagues who have higher monetary hurdles than the professional sports leagues. Readily available on-demand models appear to be the most lucrative and, frankly, the only option within the near future.
From Paid Content to Ticketing: Business Models in Germany
With the emergence of Perform Group a new player entered the field in 2016 who would be essential for fashioning the digital revolution in the German sports industry. To the British cooperation belong not only the portals of goal.com and spox.com, but also the leading streaming service DAZN. The “Netflix of Sports” secured extensive broadcasting rights for the next coming years, and has thereby become a strong competitor of Sky and other established German TV shows like Sportschau. For the end user, on the other hand, there are also free live blogs or push notification services, which some media providers have already successfully integrated into their own content strategy.
An example of this is the SPIEGEL ONLINE liveblog for this year’s winter games in Pyeongchang. Over the course of the 17 day long event, the live blog had over 34 million page impressions and more than 3 million unique visitors- a large number of these statistics had to do with the success of the German National Hockey team.
But digitalization continues to change operations in other ways as well. This is how the MeinTeam App took over the organization of teams and groups. The app simplifies processes and operations of sports clubs: from scheduling appointments including management of RSVPs, to creating links for tables and game schedules to organizing statistics and practice or game attendance. Sports-focused crowdfunding platform fairplaid also offers sports-specific financial support. The company which was founded in 2011 in Berlin has made it its goal to make a variety of sports business models a reality. A further industry that finds itself currently transforming is ticketing. The mobile ticket is no longer only the future of ticketing for concerts or flights. Providers like Ticketmaster are currently expanding their offerings of sporting events to their repertoire as well!
Growing Ad Potential: Storytelling for ROI
In Germany there are almost 100,000 clubs in which 23,81 million people share their love of sports. Saturday afternoons an average of 1,4 million people follow the Bundesliga on Sky. This market potential for new formats and mediums is huge in the German market. But investors still continue to hesitate because a Return on Investment within the first year is rare. The building up of a loyal audience, and the visits and the money that they provide, on average takes too long. However, investors are forgetting the advertising potential which is steadily growing.
The opportunity to tell stories or insights from different athletes is something that American role models have been using for years. Advertising partners and sponsors should seize the chance to position themselves as partners for a variety of sports.This often succeeds more often on the internet than in classic television. Emotions in sports are the deciding factor. If publishers offer their audiences the opportunity to get to know athletes from different sports better, they are able to create a significant benefit for a very wide target audience. The “more is more” concept from the USA should also inspire German investors and give them the courage to try these less secure avenues of reaching their audiences.
Ready, Set, Block: Will Blockchain Also Transform the Sports Industry?
From finance to logistics to energy management, new industries are embracing blockchain technology almost daily. Is the next industry on deck? Join us as Tickaroo’s CTO, Andreas Gerauer, guides us on his thought experiment:
Blockchain Benefits: Decentralization and Democratization
Blockchain technology is bringing a new refreshing wind to digitalization. Instead of requiring a central data base, multiple independent copies of data can exist now. Until recently, a centralized infrastructure, which was controlled by only a few people, was necessary for data validation. With the help of blockchain, the same data strands can be split up onto multiple computers around the world and contained within a single network. How this infrastructure is built up and how changes are carried out are determined by the rules that have been implemented within the software. No one can change these rules without the consent of the other network participants. This almost completely eliminates the possibility for database manipulation. Because of this, there is a huge potential for the democratization of the digital world and its connections to the real world. The finance industry is already actively grappling with the topics of bitcoin and blockchain. The sports industry could soon follow suit. Referee calls or roster nominations could soon become more fair than they’ve ever been before. Even the traditional association structures could crumble through blockchain technology- or none of these things could happen. Let’s have a little thought experiment:
Roster Nominations 2.0 – The Decentralized National Coach
Regardless if club or national team, management is always focused on bringing the best players together. What would it look like if the performance data of the athletes was collected, evaluated, and analyzed in a way that enables the fans to democratically determine the ideal roster? The fans would decide who would be on the field and maybe even which game tactic would be used. Even the national team coach would of course also be voted for democratically. Success and failure would then be based on collective responsibility and would be shared upon everyone’s shoulders.
The Digital Field: Kickoff for the Referee-Bot and AI
AI makes this all possible: fully automated tracking systems, video assistants and goal cameras are only the beginning. More technologies will follow. Even blockchain? Fouls, delays of game or offsides calls could be objectively determined via software analysis. With blockchain, these calls could be upheld without alteration. A solution in this category of technology would be a referee-bot, or a digital referee, that could analyse the movement of every player and would penalize offenses. Will the future hold a programmed ruling for tolerance infractions? When is a foul really a foul? When are offsides really offsides? When does a delay of game need to be punished? Questions and other fundamental deliberations could arise in the future because of the possibilities that blockchain provides.
So Long Administrative Structures and Marketing: Is There a Future for Sports Associations?
International, continental, national, and regional sports associations preside over all sporting activities and ensure the organization of competition. But are they even actually necessary? Technically no, because the scheduling and organization of games, the arranging details concerning relegation or promotion, the declaring of victors and losers could most definitely be automated. For clubs, having a decentralized entity at the helm, would be an advantage. Many smaller clubs of within regional associations are currently at the mercy of the established regulations and obligations of the overarching sports association. And these rules can be changed at any time! With the help of blockchain, the opportunity to purge the excessive league bureaucracy has great potential.
Why is the association even still important: the division of wealth. But with blockchain, the marketing for smaller clubs could change radically in the future. For example, when dealing with the division of television rights, blockchain could help make it possible for all content to be available on one platform. If all relevant clubs were connected to the same system, it would enable the user to pay per game, per league or via a complete subscription package. It would be a single system with the same prices for all. A system like this would make every cash-strapped soccer fan in Germany happy.
Yet Blockchain in the Sports Industry Remains a Digital Dream
Blockchain technology promises to be the future especially in the finance industry, or even on the political scene. The digitalization and democratization of sports would however presumably pull at some traditional joints and thus come up against some resistance. At the association levels, especially integration of the technology, appears to be a very exciting possibility, but it’s important to remember the interests of the functionaries as well as the significant technical challenges associated with the blockchain. Cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, demonstrate that traditional institutions like banks are quickly questioned when they highlight alternative models.
Even today it’s still difficult to bring bitcoins to the public sphere for everyday use. This is why the chance to make purchases using the currency at supermarkets or other like services, isn’t available. However, the latest hype has taken a small step in this direction. A currency is validated by the belief in its value. This belief has strengthened greatly over the last few months. Yet there is still a long way ahead for bitcoin and other blockchain usages. The decentralization and democratization of the sports industry with the help of blockchain remains for now a digital dream, however, it is a dream that could also offer big changes in the future.
Fast, Faster, Push Notification- A Blessing for News Coverage?
“Eight out of ten Germans have a smartphone”, confirms the current study “Smartphone-Markt: Konjuktur und Trends” (The Smartphone Market: Conjecture and Trends) by Bitkom. This means that 80 percent of Germans, nearly 54 million people, own a mobile device and use a variety of messaging, dating, shopping, and social media apps. Ten years ago, this number would have been unfathomable. For publishers, news apps have also become the standard, including a beloved feature: push notifications. CTO of Tickaroo, Andreas Gerauer, shares his thoughts on push notifications, their potential, and why they could be a blessing for the news coverage industry- or not.
Always Reachable: Push Notifications for Costumer Retention
With smartphone technology continuing to improve, so does app functionality. Similar to how mobile applications replaced SMS texting and mobile surfing, these news apps now enable end users to be reached by their news providers in real-time. Text messaging within a messenger app was the beginning, sports scores followed, and finally online shopping found the way to push notifications: individual purchase suggestions or location-based product suggestions are now must-haves of any quality shopping app. Now publishers and event coordinators are focusing on digital transformations as well- with good cause.
Readers are Customers Too, and Why Old News Isn’t Really News
The demand for up-to-date news is larger than it ever was before. In our day and age old news isn’t considered “real news” anymore. In order to effectively cover world events, editorial teams and their technology must always be performing on extremely high levels. Push notifications can potentially provide the solution for addressing the demand of covering the daily news and ensuring that the information collected also makes it to the readers in a timely fashion. Through this technology, the connection to the reader can also be sustainably strengthened. This is certainly worthwhile as the reader is a type of customer, in that they pay with their time when they read relevant content. Yet readers also determine what content they feel is relevant for them. The smartphone user of today typically privileges shorter news bites, such as the information on the lock screen, and then determines for him or herself which content to explore more in depth.
A Potential Blessing for Publishers and Event Coordinators- But Be Careful!
For media and publishers as well as event organizers, push notifications are a dream come true. In only a few seconds you can reach thousands, even millions of people- at any time, at any location, and with any desired topic. However, push notifications are often blindly used for their potential benefits without considering and maintaining the recipients’ interests. Hourly notifications, seven days a week, requires a great deal of devotion from readers. Ultimately, with such a high frequency only a few things are really relevant. “Sometimes less is more”, as the proverb says, is advice that app carriers should always keep in mind. In serious cases, this activity could lead to the deactivation of push notifications or even the deinstallation of the app, thereby losing a valuable customer.
In Conclusion: Be Aware of Reader Interests to Keep them Informed for the Long Haul
Publishers and event planners have recognized the increasing value of push notifications for news coverage. But they must also evaluate when it makes most sense to use them. Detailed analysis about app interactions can give some indication of trends, strengths and weaknesses of the sent messages. On the other hand, it’s also important that the receiver is able to decide for him or herself which topics he or she would like to be informed about. These selection options are imperative for any modern news apps in order for it to sustain readers’ interests. In this regard, this selection concept could become very interesting in regards to Artificial Intelligence. With the help of a questionnaire, the app could identify potential user interests and would send fitting messages to the recipient. This is only one potential demonstration of what the future of push notifications may hold, but certainly an exciting one.
For the original article in German, please click here!
JAXenter's "Women in Tech" Series
In the JAXenter's article series “Women in Tech”, they present exciting and inspiring women, who have established themselves within the IT industry with a variety of successes. Today in focus: Naomi Owusu, CEO of Tickaroo. Click here for the original article.
The tech industry is dominated by men- so far, so bad. Yet slowly but surely this so-called Boys Club is starting to gain different kinds of members as more and more talented women are breaking onto the scene.
In light of this shift, we want to provide inspiring and exciting women the opportunity to introduce themselves and to share how and why they chose their specific path into the tech industry. Topics like gender stereotyping, challenges, and support are of course discussed as well.
Our Women in Tech: Naomi Owusu
Naomi Owusu is CEO and co-founder of Tickaroo and is responsible for business-growth, strategic planning, and company scaling. Before founding the Regensburg-based company, she was a business consultant. Her emphasis was in production strategies of digital medias- primarily the planning and conception of mobile applications. The idea for Tickaroo came to her while she was involved with the development of a sports app. It quickly became apparent that there was a significant lack of quality tools that could be used for live-reporting. Motivated, goal-orientated, and true to the motto “Just do it!”, Naomi and her team devote themselves daily to expanding their product portfolio and optimizing their live content platform.
What piqued your interest in the tech industry?
When I was around 8 or 9 years old, an IT guy brought a Schneider computer to our home for my mother. I remember that he gave me a few disks with games on them, I think they were Bombjack and some other knight/werewolf game. I learned relatively quickly, what RUN BIN could do. I don’t exactly remember how my learning process began, but I enjoyed playing these games so much that after a while, activating these games was no longer a problem. I continued to browse through these disks and even tried out new commands along the lines of “trial and error”. From then on, there was always a computer in my house. Then came floppy disks and later color versions came along. As modems became available, I naturally couldn’t go without having one of those as well. One could say, tech has always been a natural and steady component in my life.
In my youth, the computer was an entertainment tool. When I started studying psychology and pedagogy at the university, I was introduced to many topics, including usability. I took a course in programming, although my IT skills up until that point were limited to practical things that could make my studies easier. Before the course I hadn’t done any actual programming. Eventually I began to focus my studies on conceptualisation and project management.
Role Models and Antagonists
I don’t have a role model. I do often hear stories that strike me. When this happens, I listen very carefully and try to let myself become inspired by these experiences. At the same time, I have to admit that no one has ever hindered me. Or if they tried to then I didn’t notice or simply didn’t pay them any attention.
A Day in the Life of Naomi
I am CEO and Co-Founder of Tickaroo, a “Live Content Platform”. I ensure that our team executes our goals with precision and make sure that we are able to successfully reach them.
I was, and still am, responsible for various projects, for which multiple developers, conceptualizers, designers, and product owners have to work together. For example, a project I found to be very interesting was when we managed to create a dynamic mobile app for a renowned restaurant guide purely from their printed data. Naturally the platform that we have built around Tickaroo is one of my most exciting projects. Nevertheless, as the CEO, there isn’t too much extra time for things other than strategic decisions related to our products. These processes happen relatively quickly- even without much programming experience.
Challenges and Barriers
I think women question themselves too often. “Can I do this?” or “Can I manage that? are some of the biggest questions one asks oneself. Maybe this is why their reservations may be bigger. I believe that gender specific tasks and skills don’t exist. In the end, cooperation is the most important thing in order to reach the best possible result. Every person has different skills and talents. For me everything isn’t a competition of who is better or worse. I’m allergic to this kind of attitude.
I personally always had more problems associated with my age and how I look, rather than because of my gender. For example one time my boss was asked why he was bringing his 16 year old intern to such an important meeting. I was 25 and the project manager. This statement however, did not influence or harm me in any way. My father made it clear to me even as a child, that people will judge me based on my performance, and that in order to be taken seriously, I would have to work much harder than everyone else. He also made it clear that I would be able to sweep some prejudices away through my merit and hard work. I’ve used this as my motto throughout my life and have tried to act accordingly.
Why aren’t there more women in the IT Industry?
I’m not sure. I firmly believe that tech needs more diversity! The diversity debate will definitely not end for a long time and it will be a long fight. I wish that problem solving would come to the forefront and that people would see that through cooperation and collaboration many problems can be solved more efficiently, systematically and for the long term- regardless of the industry. At the moment, we are all very ego oriented. In my opinion that’s true of both genders.
Tips and Tricks
If a girl wants something, then she should do just that. We are all sorted into boxes, regardless if feminine, masculine, big, small, black, white, homo- or heterosexual, no one should let oneself be stopped by these things. We always receive opportunities. Some are born with opportunity, others have to work for these opportunities for generations. I definitely won’t let anything get in my way, and if I am convinced that I can contribute something to the tech industry, then I will look for ways and opportunities to make it happen.
“Never give up unless YOU decided to do so!” This motto sounds super simple, but is actually really hard to do. Follow your goals and don’t submit to them. Your goal should go beyond simply making yourself as rich and famous as fast as possible. Ideally that would be an extra effect of your original goal. Make problem solving your hobby and ensure that your world everyday becomes more meaningful. Set your priorities and surround yourself with people that give you energy and inspiration as opposed to taking them from you!
Checklist Brand Building: How to Make Conventions and Conferences Memorable
A Guest Article by Naomi Owusu, CEO of Tickaroo
This year the CEBIT went in a new direction: it took place in June and surprised guests with its fresh and new approaches to its well-established event. The convention, with its strong offering of conferences centered around the digital economy, was well-received and will be held again in 2019. Newly set to take place in May, the OMR festival is also changing next year’s event date- creating a time conflict with re:publica. The Cologne and Berlin Videodays, Germany’s biggest YouTuber festivals, haven’t fared so well. The official reason for the cancelled events was a lack of ticket sales and generally weak engagement with regard to sponsors. Naomi Owusu, CEO of Tickaroo, explains why the symbiosis of websites, native apps and reporting is the key ingredient for future events and sustainable brand-building.
1. Establishing a Strong Foundation: Digital Platforms are the Key
An important component event organizers must provide is a digital platform that offers actual benefits. Event details such as dates, talk topics, exhibitors, presenter bios, current news, and attendee interviews are all must-haves when it comes to boosting ticket sales, engaging visitors, and encouraging partner participation.
2. Keeping Event Locations and Travel Tips Current
Nothing is more annoying than a poorly organized event. Even worse is when the visitors are subjected to traffic bottlenecks and detours. Providing optimal transport connections is important so that visitors can have as smooth of an arrival as possible. It’s also important for there to be clearly-explained routes for the different venues within the event itself. With the help of a map that is linked with the programs’ themes, the visitor can be guided around the convention. A live blog is ideal for quickly and easily distributing current and logistical information so as to work around, or avoid, capacity shortages and traffic surprises.
3. Offer Effective Livestreaming and Information with the Media Center
A media center is imperative when providing multi-media content – before, during and after the event. Live streams of keynotes, clips of discussions, interactive workshops and interviews with exhibitors or guests, all help to contribute to a long-lasting and sustainable provision of information, even after the event is over. At the same time, it’s also possible to analyze online access and to reach conclusions for future thematic directions. Multi-media content also offers the chance to be included in external media and discussion forums and in turn can assist with generating new partnerships and cooperative endeavors.
4. For More Authenticity: First Feedback, then the Early-Bird Deals
Even during the convention, those responsible for the next event must be involved and planning for the future, otherwise specifics from the event will be forgotten or the competition will benefit from notable partners and guests. Organizers should take pains to ensure that their target audiences are also future guests and visitors. Herein lies the challenge; to not scare the visitors off with overhasty post-event follow-up emails. Despite this, the very first thing that should be done after the event is to collect the public’s feedback in the form of a short questionnaire. Organizers profit from authenticity because the responders realize that their feedback, ideally, is being taken seriously. With these observations regarding organizational aspects, logistics, time planning, highlights as well as ideas for the future, organizers are better able to plan upcoming events and in the course of which, can offer early-bird tickets or raffle them off.
5. Daily Agendas and Intelligent Event Tips Presented in Native Apps
Besides a mobile-friendly website, there is nothing better than native apps. Here, alongside the content of the website it’s possible to reap many more benefits including offering daily agendas. Based upon previously visited events, the app should be able to, by means of text searching, make intelligent suggestions such as side events, talks or workshops. Push notifications also allow for a figuratively short distance between organizers and guests by providing them with current news, for example what keynotes are taking place at the moment or general current information about the event. At the same time, the use of the app is ideal for the wrap-up and also for performance measurement. A bonus is heightened engagement thanks to push notifications as well as being able to geographically locate the guests, thereby permitting the organizers to better understand to what the guests are best responding. Whether there are still spots available in a talk or a last-minute change to the program, guests are kept informed in real time. Organizers also have the added benefit of having a flexible mode of real-time planning and information dissemination. In turn, the public profits from a comfortable sense of awareness and preparedness during the event.
6. Social Media – Promoting Dialogue and Interaction
The hashtag: a must-have that ideally is composed of the year and a short moniker or acronym that aptly represents the event. In this way, it’s possible to stimulate discussion with the guests about the event and its topics. At the same time, it’s very important that the organizers oversee their channels and react to both positive and negative feedback in a timely manner.
7. Live Reporting During the Event
The theme of live reporting being separate from social networks is becoming more important. The upside: visitors and those who stayed at home have access to authentic real-time information without extra editorial red-tape that could filter the content. Through their authenticity and personal nature, live blogs provide a way by which to consolidate brands. Here it is crucial to connect with readers on an emotional level. Thanks to real and immediate news during the event, as well as brand building, the blog is turned into a lively archive. This not only further solidifies the concept of the event but also makes it more accessible in the future. Whether the live blog is done in-house or the content is supplied by external media specialists, its potential for cooperation is clear.
Conclusion: Sustainable Brand Building – SXSW Leads the Way
South by Southwest (SXSW) is a prime example. Via their website and social media channels, visitors have access to a wide range of information about the event. Events are only sustainably successful when both the focus of the thematic target groups and the digital conditions are in accord. The reporting that occurs, before, during and after the event, becomes a deciding competitive advantage – it not only helps the event to be remembered for a longer period by guests but also makes it more interesting for prospective visitors. In addition, media centers, blogs, as well as native apps, all offer sponsoring potential and are responsible for additional income. When these conditions are met then there is nothing left standing in the way of a very well-attended event.
For the original German version please click here.
Photo: Medientage München, Source: Tickaroo
Event Booster! Why Live Blogs Aren’t Just Useful for Soccer Anymore
Thanks Eventbrite for sharing our CEO's thoughts for event coverage on your blog! Here is our translation for our English speaking users.
We can’t imagine getting our sports highlights without them. Over the past few years, live blogs have become a beloved tool of numerous media providers. Those who don't have time to sit in front of a TV during the game can still get all the most important information in real-time on their smartphone or tablet. But if you believe that live blogs only make sense for the sports industry, then you haven’t understood the versatility this technology provides. Why report only on a last-second goal or a home run hit out of the park? Today, Naomi Owusu, CEO of Tickaroo, shares with us why creating a live blog is also a worthwhile endeavor for your event.
Offsides: Deliver Information to the Outside World in a Controlled Fashion
The year has only 365 days. No “Save the Date” email in the world can manage to ensure that everyone that should be at your event will actually make it. For those who can’t physically be there, the live blog acts as an additional service for your event from which both sides can profit. By creating their own live blog, organizers are able to make themselves the first contact point for interested individuals who are looking for information about the event- before, during and after the fact. The creation of one’s own channel means additionally, that event managers are able to decide for themselves which information needs to be communicated and how best to communicate it. The result: an organised storyline that readers can easily and better follow than an unstructured collection of social media posts.
Extended Game Time: Expand Offerings of Insights and Specials
However,current goings-on aren't the only things that can be shared with a live blog. Event managers can learn a lot from sports coverage, especially in terms of style- for example, how the online version of “kicker” Magazine is able to provide its users with a lot more information, through the use of team or player profiles. As an event organiser, you have the same opportunity! Use the live blog as a base to build a complete information platform which you can use to cover information about event partners or other relevant topics. Renowned speakers or event participates can be introduced via interview, or can even become reporters themselves. These tactics open up the wide world of storytelling for the event manager.
An Amazing Win: Brand Building Thanks to Live Coverage
For event companies, the construction of one’s own brand is often more difficult than for companies who have a concrete product or a service to provide. Events take a lot of energy, whether they last a day, a week, or even an entire month.Then once it’s finished, preparations for ticket sales for next year’s event need to basically get started. Nothing remains but the event coverage. It’s therefore advantageous for the organizer when this active, complete coverage of the event is clearly conceived and written by the organizer themselves. Journalists pick their favorite highlights, create their opinions, and compose news stories, that again increase the visibility of your event. Live blogs and their post-event preparation have the power and ability to clarify the concept behind the event, and thus can create a strong sustainable brand image outside of the media's hands. An added benefit is the authentic and personal atmosphere of live coverage. News from an event location in real-time, without long publishing processes, comes across as way more authentic and connected to the event itself.
A New Coach: Olympic Games as an Example for Event Coverage
An example of a successful live blog is the one that SPIEGEL ONLINE composed for this year’s Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. In only 17 days, the live blog had over 34 million page impressions and more than 3 million unique visitors. A live blog can also demonstrate what parts of the event the website visitors and non present fans are interested in. For example, the results of the Olympic coverage showed that ice hockey and biathlon were the most popular sports. While sports-related results are predefined by the various disciplines, event managers have more freedom to evaluate the thematic interests of their audiences through the available data, and thereby are able to use this knowledge for the planning of later events.
Conclusion: Life is Live!
The world in which we live is always becoming faster and more digital. Whether a soccer match or a business event, information is transferred all over the world as formless and unfiltered via social media platforms in real time. The event managers who use these external reports in combination with their own live blog to supplement what can be found in the media about their event will definitely have an advantage. Event managers now have the opportunity to expand coverage and storytelling of their own brand in the palm of their hands.
Finanzpilot Exclusive: Tickaroo CEO Interview
Translated from this exclusive interview.
To those who have always dreamt of being a soccer reporter, with the 2018 World Cup finally here, now is your chance to fulfill your dream with Tickaroo. From the idea's conception to today's new platform, Tickaroo's founding team has taken on and conquered many challenges. The company's Co-Founder and CEO Naomi Owusu shares her insights with us in an exclusive interview.
1. Briefly introduce yourself and your business
With Tickaroo, we’ve created a platform that offers a variety of tools for different forms of live coverage of news and sports. We ensure that real-time news reaches end users in the fastest way possible, regardless if via their smartphones with push notifications or with your own live blog. We’re connected with both the sports and news industries- our users and customers include reporters and their publishing houses, as well as sports associations, clubs, and event organizers. We’ve additionally established ourselves in the area of IT development and consulting. This is how our team came to design and develop the kicker app. With this app alone, we ensure that millions of sports notifications are daily sent out in real-time.
2. Where did the idea for Tickaroo come from?
Tickaroo was founded seven years ago. At the time, I was working with a publishing house on an app for a German third league soccer team. During this process, I realized that there weren’t any quality tools for live sports coverage aside from those made by professional teams. This is how we started out as the live “ticker” app for amateur sports. But not much later, we began having larger aspirations. We wanted to provide not only hobby reporters, but also professional journalists with an opportunity to create a professional live coverage blog quickly and easily. The huge demand supported our decision to expand our original business idea. Now our focus is on media and publishing houses as well as event organizers who want the opportunity to create and share live blogs and real-time data directly with their audiences, away from social networks and platforms.
3. What were the biggest challenges that you had to overcome during your founding?
As with any newly founded company there will of course be a few everyday challenges. These also existed with Tickaroo. But even from the beginning, we were able to profit from the fact that our founding team was made up of individuals who were skilled in a wide variety of areas. Our CTO, Andreas, was even seven years ago already an accomplished programmer. Our CPO, Matthew, had conceptualised and designed numerous applications in the digital sports industry and had successfully sold his first mobile development agency. Peter, our CFO, had been on the board of numerous companies before his time with Tickaroo. And as CEO, it’s always been my goal, from 2011 to now, to find a solution, which we all find plausible, for every challenge we face.
4. Of which of your company milestones are you particularly proud?
Firstly, we were/are very proud of our cooperations with kicker Magazine. As a young company, we developed all of their mobile apps and thereby helped influence a sensational traffic boost. Additionally, two years ago Tickaroo celebrated its relaunch. Originally only a redesign was planned, but then more developments in usability, stability, and performance were added to our tools as well. This is how what was supposed to be a mere redesign turned into a pretty big milestone for us. A more current highlight is our cooperation with SPIEGEL ONLINE. For the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang a few months ago, the news provider integrated our live blog technology into their products. The success speaks for itself: within the 17 day long Games the provider gathered over 34 million page impressions, where 3.3 million unique users were on the live blog on average for 5.5 minutes. It’s always a pleasure to provide journalists with our tools especially when with them they are able to reach such a high readership.
5. What’s special about you? And what will separate you from your competitors and make you successful in the future?
The needs and wants of readers are noticeably changing in our digital world. We observe these shifts and react with apt adjustments to our tools. Readers today want short news. The decision if whether or not a longer follow up article will be read or not is in the hands of the user. Tickaroo provides the technical tools for publishers to be able to react to this changing reader behavior, and thus allows them to continue to thrive in the times of Facebook and Twitter. Not to mention, with the kicker app, Tickaroo sends millions of push notifications daily, and our live blogs from our partners also enjoy a high reader demand in the German market alone. It’s our goal to keep and increase this position over our competitors in the coming years. However, we are not only interested in making sports coverage faster and more personal. Our prime goal is that editors from the news industry will also be able to concentrate on the news coverage itself and not on the technological challenges of complex tools, like implementation or usability struggles. By securing new users, for example in the event and conference industries, Tickaroo can also secure its role as international technical pioneer. The tools’ universal usage and simple integration process and handling, as well as our robust and scalable user services and products will be what sets us apart from our competition. Exactly for these reasons are why we were able to secure partners like kicker, Red Bull, and even Largardère Sport. Our platform is fast, flexible, and fail safe!
6. Do you have any standing cooperations with athletes? Which athlete would you love to have as a supporter?
We support various sports clubs. This is how Tickaroo came to sponsor TC Rot Blau’s Eckert Tennis Team, and the baseball team, Buchbinder Legionäre Regensburg. If we were able to select a specific famous athlete for a cooperation, we would love to work with Julia Goerges. We wish her all the best with the rest of her tennis season!
Do you have any particular activities planned for the 2018 World Cup?
Together with Tippmate, we’ve created a sweepstakes for the World Cup. Users can participate and even win great prizes!
And finally: Who is your secret favorite for the 2018 World Cup?
I’m always a little torn during every World Cup. I’m actually a huge Ghana fan, but of course I will be cheering for the German National Team this year. Although we at Tickaroo are generally optimists, I unfortunately think that Löws team will be eliminated either in the quarter or semi finals. However in my opinion, we should keep an eye on the young and wild team from France.
My Home Screen: Naomi Owusu
We just loved this article written by turi2’s Maria Gramsch on what apps our CEO has on her screen, that we just had to translate it for our English speaking followers!
Naomi Owusu, CEO of Tickaroo, the live content platform, likes using her smartphone to keep track of all of the company’s in-house apps, including the “kicker” apps which are especially busy on weekends.
A Clear Overview: I use Twitter for updates about our industry and HipChat for internal company communication, as it makes it easy to quickly reach contacts. I use Salesforce to skim through my contacts in case a meeting gets cancelled. Spontaneous meetings and a short exchanges are often the most exciting.
I have Voicemail on my Home Screen, because I don’t want to completely miss a call in case of an emergency. Our main usage times are on the weekend. I look at my phone at regular intervals; I don’t have it on me at all times, but I do have it in hearing distance. That’s what it was made for originally, after all. Once the weekend has ended, I like looking at its statistics on Google Analytics (iOS).
I open the Tickaroo Apps numerous times a day in order to see what games are currently taking place, where news is being covered, or even to gain inspiration for new features. Meanwhile the Play Store offers pretty great testing functions, so that I can view our updates before they are released to the end users. This is how we keep our apps current and can regularly update our apps.
The “kicker” apps: I could never be without them. Our flagship project, the kicker news app, is for me and the rest office, our main source for daily sports information. With the MeinVerein-App, I get current info around the clock about my favorite sports club, BVB.
On the Go and Disoriented doesn’t work for me. The apps that make my life easier while I’m traveling and moving from one meeting to the next are airline apps like: Eurowings and Lufthansa, which help me find the perfect flight; Google Maps (iOS) to find the shortest route; and Uber (iOS), in case I want to get from A to B quickly.
Keeping Balance: The exercise apps (Nike Run Club and Nike Training) are simply there to remind me that I like to exercise. It’s important for me, especially on a stressful day of work to shut off and to reward myself with much needed movement. The apps are not always used that often, but during the summer I do use them rather regularly.
Music For All of Life’s Circumstances: On the way to work, in the airplane, during certain tasks in the office, while exercising, I love listening to music. For me, Spotify truly is one of the best apps and I really love it! It also makes browsing in record stores easier for me. I like discovering new music and am always looking for a continuous stream of it. It’s especially important in the office!
A Quick Note: I recently discovered Writer Plus. Normally I always have my notebook and pencil with me. For ideas that I also want to send to others, the app is great, but I especially love the usability!
Who Changed the Clock? Date and Time are especially helpful, when I am in different timezones. With one quick look, I know how late it is at “home base” and at what time I can best reach my colleagues.
Photo from turi2
Interview with DOK Magazin
In addition to publishing our CEO's thoughts on the Digital Age of news coverage, DOK sat down with her to ask a few more directed questions. For the originial interview click here.Ms. Owusu, let’s start with the “customers” of media providers. In your experience, what are the needs of today's readerships that companies must be able to meet?
If one thing is clear, it 's thatreaders want to be kept informed in real-time. We see the perfect example in Social Media. The networks, once conceived for the exchange of personal information amongst friends, soon also became a valuable channel for news providers, thus reflecting just one of the transformations to concern news coverage over the past few years. Users choose their preferred medium, “Like” it, and thus personalise their own information supply and keep themselves always up-to-date. The users no longer want to hear about the latest news in the daily newspapers, but rather in the exact moment when the events occur. Old news isn’t really news anymore. This is also partially why the reader has become more independent. He or she craves short news bites, and is willing to research information on his or her own.
You emphasize that short news wins impact. Has this format replaced the traditional article?
No. Media and publishing houses are now met with the challenge of finding a healthy mix of live-heavy and classic news coverage avenues. With the help of these short facts, they must awaken the interest of their readers and ideally provide the fitting detailed content to their available supply of information. These more detailed formats can be displayed online, but can also be made available for print, too.
To what extent do the topics you mentioned in your article, brand strength and the power of storytelling, have an effect on reach?
The reader has specific expectations about what content is available within particular mediums, so a clear positioning of ones coverage must be made clear. Should the content be informative, thought-provoking, or entertaining? Is it conservative, controversial, or prosaic? This is where the strength of the brand is determined, and, if done correctly, has the opportunity to reach your target audience on a sustainable level. It’s not really possible to work in news coverage without concerning oneself with the subject of storytelling. The reader wants to take hold of the story and become emotionally involved, whether its sports or news coverage. It’s important that storytelling principles are carried out across all formats.
Speaking of sports and news coverage- are their differences in covering the two?
Yes, definitely, especially in these times of "Fake-News". We've seen how smaller news portals were able to share incorrect news, which created a domino effect. Different medias copied and modified the news, so that a significant distortion of the original events took place. A scaffolding of fake-news and opinion-based assertions were made, paired with political biases, which were then scooped up, adjusted, and published by other medias as well.
The sports industry appears to be different. Here, there is only truth. If Germany becomes the World Champion in soccer or if a new marathon winner is crowned, then it is a fact that cannot be distorted. It appears that certain rules exist. Fake news in the sports industry have a far shorter life cycle than political or societal news stories. Not to mention that sports news is also transferred at a massive delivery speed. This is a clear benefit of working in sports coverage. How these principles can be applied to news coverage is difficult to answer. I hope that the coverage of non- sports news will be assisted by the readers ensuring the content they are reading is indeed made up of well-researched facts.
Mobile, Desktop or Print: Who does the future belong to?
All of them, because the formats must mesh with one another. Of course print doesn’t have it easy at the moment, especially the daily newspapers will have problems in the future. But this is why these formats will also transform. The relevance of industry specific magazines, who have positioned themselves as experts within their fields in order to reach their target audiences, is continuing to grow. Media houses and publishers should trust their digital departments in providing a variety of formats and channels for their readers. The sensible combination of live coverage and detailed background articles is the key to a stronger connection with one’s readership. The challenge is to engage the users and to provide them with fitting news, as soon as they need it. Apps are also here just for this transitionary phase. New displays and intelligent systems for all areas of life will one day make the smartphone also obsolete.
Thank you so much for your insights, Ms. Owusu!
Publishing: Modern Digital Times
A portion of our CEO's guest contribution to DOK Magazin.
First it was pamphlets, then newspapers, later websites and now apps, clearly professional news coverage and distribution has changed. Especially in these times of digital innovation, publishers and media hours have even more opportunities available to them. But how does the media industry in Germany hold up? This much is clear:sales are sinking. Newspaper subscription numbers are continually decreasing and the pressure to cover pertinent content is only increasing. These circumstances make it more difficult to keep personal on the payroll. The result: severe budget cuts and tactics within the workplace and an increased use of freelancers. But do these methods guarantee an enduring model for quality editorial content? The digital turn requires publishers to seek out innovative ways of tackling news coverage, but also delivers new possibilities and opportunities. Are Payment Models the Future?
Ad blockers were the cause. Paywalls and content subscriptions the accepted solution. But did publishers make the right decision? Debatable. Through these methods, where the reader was only able to access limited content or was enticed with exciting articles to only be given a stub, the media lost sympathy and frankly their reach. This leads us to ask ourselves whether or not this form of payment model is really the best solution for this financial bottleneck. This method can work. However, only under certain circumstances. Payment models only work within a strong market, especially when the product supplies the market with a unique feature, and also importantly, has a solid target audience. This is how, for example, the Handelsblatt (Germany’s leading financial newspaper), with its “Handelsblatt Digital Business” (Financial Paper for Digital Business) was able to create its fee-based club membership. This premium version of Germany’s fastest business news portal granted unlimited access to exclusive content to its members. From ePapers to dossiers and background stories, to interactive graphics, the subscribers had access to a variety of formats.This content exclusivity and participation of a large readership only works for a strong brand. Media houses which are not as established as the Handelsblatt have problems successfully implementing concepts like this one.
Consequently, they instead turn to diverse advertising opportunities, but with this option, profitability is directly influenced by reach. Overlays and banner ads are some of the customary options which promise online revenue. However, publishers also in this case are dependant on reach. It’s the same with sponsored posts. With these posts, prices are dependent on projected page visitors. This form of content partnering is especially exciting for businesses that would like to strengthen their products or service options. These mentioned possibilities create potential for publishers to bring in more profits, but how can they strengthen their brand and increase their reach, especially during this time of digital transformation of news and event coverage.
Live Blogs for More Page Impressions and Unique Visitors
In order to exhaust all advertising potential, publishers crave new opportunities of keeping their readership engaged. One way to do this? Liveblogs. The flexible format tends to be rather popular among readerships. Whether societal or political breaking-news, event or sports coverage, media transmitted via the short updates of live blogs are highly followed, without needing social media channels like Facebook to reach these customers. An example is the 2018 Olympic Winter Games liveblog created by SPIEGEL ONLINE, which garnered a massive response. With 34 million page impressions, more than 3 million unique visitors followed the competition. The benefits of live blogs for editors covering live news are tremendous. One can produce content quickly and immediately share it with a large readership. They also allow one to integrate a variety of media, whether photos, videos, or social media content. Live blogs bundle relevant information for the target audience together. From the readers’ perspective, this option makes one feel like they are not missing a thing. One is given the security of always being in the know and up-to-date with the latest news and events- in real-time. With live blogs, publishers are able to radiate authenticity, because the range is concentrated on one event and its progression. But editors, in addition to transmitting clear, crisp information bites to their audience, must also heed rules of storytelling, in order to evoke emotions within their audiences, thus letting them also participate in the event.
News-Apps: Personalization of Content
According to a study done by Bitkom, there are over 54 million smartphone users in Germany alone; a number that publishers are paying attention to as they attempt to match their content for these end devices. Web Apps, websites optimized for mobile devices and native apps ensure that the readers can always stay informed. A significant challenge lies in optimizing the User Experience and performance of these tools. Media houses and publishers have a great opportunity in the connection to their customers their mobile devices provide. The readers always have their news with them. The news is no longer found, but rather the news finds its target audience. Because of this, the personalization of content plays an important role. The challenge is to ensure that the variety of content and the fun of exploring information options doesn’t dwindle away. With native apps, news providers can also rely on push notifications to easily reach their audiences. The short news messages on the smartphone are a necessity of any news app. They reach the user regardless of location and in real-time.
Relevance: Standards for Push Notification Use
The benefit of using push notifications is clear. Content can be shared with a wider audience at a higher frequency, but exactly herein lies the danger. Publishers must find a “healthy dose” of push notifications. To much information overwhelms the readers. They only want to see the information that is especially relevant to them. Optional bookable categories for push notifications therefore belong to the MUST-HAVEs of any trusted news app. The users must be able to choose if he or she wants access to all news, or just industry specific updates, for example sports, politics, or even the environment. Also timing options offer the opportunity for users to select if updates should be received in real-time or at a specific time, and this way, gives the receiver an element of control and balance over the information flood.
“Old News Isn’t News Anymore”
If one is looking for a new promising business model for publishers, the expectations of the readers concerning currentness of information plays a decisive role. Likewise important is it that the news is accessible on all channels- regardless if mobile, desktop, or in print. This is certainly a complex task for editors that are not only challenged in terms of collecting content, but also must manage these demands in technological regards. But this digital age provides many of options of tackling these many challenges head on.
Startup Profile: Tickaroo- A Comprehensive Solution for Live Event Coverage
Here are some of our favorite questions we answered for the Startup Profile questionnaire published in German by Upload Magazin.
Biggest milestones to date:
Hands down our most important milestone was our complete relaunch in 2016. But the decisions to integrate a live blog marketplace and to expand our Tickaroo solution to fit the needs of professional journalists are our other significant milestones that have contributed to our success.
Our current goals are to continue to expand our client and partner network, and to further develop our livestreaming capabilities and features. At the same time, we are also working on increasing our data evaluation services.
What does the company’s business model look like?
We are a Software-as-a-Service provider. When the Olympia Verlag (publishing house) invested in our company in 2015, we were given new opportunities to broaden our business. We primarily focused on the continued development of our professional solution for live news coverage. Many publishers, media houses, publishing houses, and sports associations now rely on this fee-based software. It is comprised of an elaborate User Management system, advertisement and partner content integration, tracking capabilities, and additional services like a liveblog marketplace and push notification service. For hobby reporters, we continue to offer a free consumer version.
What were the biggest hurdles and challenges that you’ve faced so far?
In 2015, we had scheduled a redesign of Tickaroo, which then quickly transformed into a complete relaunch, because almost all of the components were completely rewritten. This process cost us not only a lot of money but also time, significantly more than we had originally planned. Looking back, we now know that we could have reworked individual components instead to streamline the process. Usability, stability, and performance are incredibly important to us- however, we could have definitely left numerous aspects of the old version. So for the future, we are going to go with targeted redesign rather than a total relaunch.
And This is Just the Beginning
Published in the Spring Edition of Die MacherWhat used to be only possible for large publishing houses, media houses, broadcasters, and large sports clubs is now available for everyone thanks to a team called “Tickaroo”. Now anyone can cover any event live and in real-time. It all started with a regulation soccer match and a typo in a company presentation…
“The idea came to us, when a local newspaper sent a reporter to a local relegation match and their live-ticker (gamecast software) stopped working. At that time, a standard tool that was easy to program and able to be used by multiple users didn’t exist. We asked ourselves how we could change this. This is how Tickaroo was founded,” says co-founder and CEO, Naomi Owusu.
“Ticker around the world” was what the enterprise was supposed to be called. But when the typo “Tickaroo” popped up when preparing a company presentation the name stuck. Although livecasting and blogging weren’t a new phenomenon, even 7 years ago, Tickaroo stood out because of its simple and uncomplicated user interface, not to mention its high performance abilities, which are often the deciding factor for users. As Owusu says “to program a working livecast is just a student project, anyone can do it. But for it to be able to perform in a way that it can handle multiple thousands of hits at the same time and not crash, not everyone can do that.”
Despite only having been founded in 2011, the software’s high performance is also why the startup has secured clients like the renowned sports magazine kicker, Spiegel Online and Pro Sieben Sports. Tickaroo’s first priority is always simple usability- it must always work quickly and efficiently and be easily integrated into other social media channels. It have two main target groups. Firstly, freelance and hobby journalists who have access to a completely free version of the software, which has ads and some features that are limited. The second group are B2B customers, who have access to features such as extended User-management, sports statistics, SEO optimization, and traffic performance. In the future, one will be able to not only cover soccer games, expos, or rock concerts, but with its latest emerging target group in the company communication industries, Tickaroo hopes to provide even more groups with quality real-time software.
Out Puzzle the Competition!
Red Bull Mind GamersMind Gamers is comprised of a series of challenges and puzzles that test the contestant’s speed and mental agility including the Escape Room, the Rubik’s Cube as well as a series of monthly challenges. In its inaugural year, over 9,000 people competed in the Escape Room competition with 24 teams making it to the World Championship. Beginning in 2018, puzzle enthusiasts will also be able to enter the Rubik's Cube competition and try their hand at becoming the fastest person in a variety of categories including: Speedcubing, Re-Scramble, Fastest Hand or Speedcubing Female. With such a diverse set of tasks, Mind Gamers truly seeks to include as many people as possible and to open up the community of mind games. Tickaroo Rises to the Challenge
Given the nature of many of the challenges as well as the number of competitors, speed and timing are key factors for gauging success. With so many players and countries, having the right tool for the job makes all the difference. That’s why Red Bull is once again using Tickaroo Tournament Manager to keep track of the events.
Beginning in 2017, Red Bull’s Neymar Jr’s Five started using the administrative system to organize the entire competition which spanned six continents, over fifty countries, and more than 100,000 players. Thanks to the customizable nature of the system, a developer enters the rules which are provided to us and after a quick setup, everything is up and running. From soccer to Rubik's cube challenges, the results are the same with Tickaroo Tournament Manager: an organized tournament that is easy to setup and maintain. We for one can’t wait to see what this year’s exciting tournaments bring!