World's First Fantasy Sports App Store Coming CBSSports.com
Believe it or not, fantasy sports is a billion dollar a year industry, and has been for some time. The level of user addiction to fantasy sports easily matches that of other online games (you should meet some of my friends) but the innovation surrounding the platforms hasn't accelerated nearly as fast.
The App Central hub will open its doors on Jan. 31 and will feature free and paid apps from six launch partners, including MLB (News - Alert).com, Bloomberg Sports and NBC's RotoWire.com. CBS is also handing over its APIs to third-party developers who can build their own customized apps and host them on the platform.
"Providing outside developers access to our proprietary service will benefit the entire fantasy industry ecosystem, creating additional value for companies, developers and advertisers while consolidating and enhancing the experience for fantasy players," Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CBSSports.com, noted in a statement.
Much of the value will end up in the pockets of CBS, which will take a 30 percent cut from all paid app sales. The site will also surely see greater advertising revenue from increased traffic.
CBS is in a unique position to capitalize the thriving app market. Unlike other fantasy sports providers, the majority of CBS users pay to play on their platform. Sites like Yahoo, ESPN (News - Alert) and NFL.com host fantasy leagues free of charge.
The website believes that people who pay to play will be more prone to purchase apps and additional content. CBSSports.com claims to cater to the most educated and affluent users, with 60 percent having a household income of $75K+ and two-thirds being college-educated.
Frankly, it's a bit surprising that it took this long for CBS to make such a move. With 29.6 million fantasy sports players in the U.S., the market is ripe for a fantasy-themed app store.
Apps that will be available at the launch date include "StatSmack," a personalized trash talking application, and Advanced Sports Media's "Draft Analyzer" product. Developers can click here to get started on the next Angry Birds of fantasy sports.
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Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Rich Steeves