Leading Spanish football club FC Barcelona has launched its new streaming service – Barça TV+ – together with its CULERS Premium Membership programme. Both offerings are part of the club’s new digital strategy and reflect the new ways in which fans are engaging with sports and entertainment brands worldwide.
Barça claims to be the current world leader in digital. The football club’s 350 million online followers, with which it engages in the form of 1.4 million interactions, are more than any other sports club can boast. This new digital strategy will allow the club to get even closer to its global fan base, reaching fans directly without intermediaries, and learning more about their individual preferences. The ultimate goal is to offer fans personalised experiences and content while also boosting this new line of business, which is expected to become one of the club’s biggest sources of revenue in the coming years.
FC Barcelona’s new digital service will be available worldwide via the club website and app, for all devices (PC, tablet, mobile and television using cast technology), and in three languages (Catalan, Spanish and English). Users will find more than 1,000 hours of content and over 3,000 one-hundred-per-cent-Barça videos, which can be viewed on demand.
The content includes exclusive series and in-house documentaries, called Originals, and which include Ready! Antoine Griezmann’s challenges, in which the first team star puts fellow sportspeople to the test with a series of challenges, and Origins, which offers an unprecedented intimate view of players’ careers using interviews and comments from family and friends. Meanwhile, in Discover Barcelona, the players take the audience to some of their favourite parts of the city, and What’s Next? features different Barça legends talking about their lives after hanging up their professional boots.
Barça Women also get their own series, Dare to Play, which presents a more personal angle on the players, while The Album looks back at the time spent by historic players at the club, and The 9 is all about some of the team’s greatest strikers.
The service also offers first team games in delayed or on-demand format, while matches played by Barça B, the Barça Women, the other sports teams and youth teams can be viewed either live or in delay. The platform will also include Barça TV, which will now be available in English, as well as in Catalan and Spanish, together with historic Barça content, including every game from the last five seasons and 65 of the biggest games ever played by the team, such as the different Copa del Rey Finals, and the Champions League Finals played in London, Paris, Rome and Berlin.
Barça fans will also be able to access a vast collection of behind-the-scenes videos and compilations of footage featuring various Barça stars.
The launch of Barça’s new streaming platform is linked to the launch of the Premium version of the CULERS Membership loyalty programme, which brings together all fans who have a passion for Barça, strengthening the emotional bond and sense of belonging to the club, as well as offering special access to all of Barça’s digital content.
CULERS Premium Membership will offer access to all of the club’s digital products and services, which means everyone who joins the programme will not only receive their own personalised membership card, but also a series of benefits regarding the integrated ecosystem of digital products and services, such as unrestricted access to all Barça TV+ content, discounts at the online Barça Store Camp Nou, discounts on tickets, special offers from the club’s partners, the chance to enter weekly drawings and competitions, and much more.
The Premium category adds a new aspect to the club’s recently-launched CULERS Membership loyalty programme and is an evolution of the former Barça Fans programme in which subscribers get the chance to take part in games and competitions linked to the club, access content and have their say on the Culer Wall.
Barça TV+ will be available for free by simply registering or on a monthly subscription basis. The former offers access to a limited range of content, while the latter involves full, unlimited access to the whole service.
The new CULERS Premium Membership programme is available for an annual subscription fee and includes premium access to all Barça digital products and services, including unlimited access to the OTT.
For Barça members, the Premium option of the CULERS Membership program and access to all content on Barça TV+ will be free, while supporters’ club (penya) members get 50 per cent off.
With the launches of Barça TV+ and CULERS Premium Membership programme, FC Barcelona says it is realising its vision for a new digital strategy. Another key aspect of this strategy was the launch of the club’s e-commerce service from the Barça Store Camp Nou. Together, these digital launches are expected to be one of the club’s largest sources of ordinary income over the next five years, supporting the Barça’s mission to develop new revenue streams and continue leading the way both on and off the pitch.
Unlike other sports clubs, all of FC Barcelona’s income is derived directly from the sports industry. Therefore, in order to stay at the top of an increasingly competitive environment, Barça is evolving into a global entertainment brand, and is doing so by creating premium sports-related content, both fiction and non-fiction, and is adapting to new forms of consumption (especially with regard to new generations), in an area where it is now not only competing for attention with other sports clubs, but also with major corporations, media services and other formats such as video games.
In order to develop its new digital strategy, Barça relies on two fundamental instruments: Barça Studios, the company that centralises all of the club’s creation, production and marketing of audiovisual content, which will be fed into the different FC Barcelona digital products (including the recently announced fictional series inspired by La Masia and the cartoon series Talent Explorers and the FRM (Fan Relationship Management) programme to collect data from its own platform in order to identify fan preferences and thus tailor the most relevant content to their needs at all times.
“FC Barcelona want to remain a benchmark club both on and off the pitch and continue to be the leading sports entity in the generation of revenue,” commented Oriol Tomàs, Vice President of Commercial Area at FC Barcelona. “With this in mind, the creation of this new digital products ecosystem opens up a new way of doing business for us, which we hope will become one of the main sources of regular income for the club in the coming years, helping us to continue growing and remain competitive in an increasingly sophisticated environment.”
“Likewise, products such as Barça TV + and the CULERS Premium Membership programme also help us bring the club closer to our fans around the world, consolidating the global expansion of the Barça brand.”
“Barça TV+ is the key piece, the jewel in the crown, in the club’s new digital strategy and, without a doubt, the best way to reach all of our fans around the world,” declared Dídac Lee, Board of Directors member head of the Digital Area. “This is a unique product that will offer fans a new way to consume Barça content, wherever they want and whenever they want; exclusive, different content that will be available ‘on demand’.”
“The CULERS Premium Membership programme will also allow us to deepen the sense of belonging to the Barça family that these fans feel. Therefore, these two products will help us bring the club and its values closer to our fans, connect with new audiences and strengthen the FC Barcelona brand globally.”
Barça TV+, FC Barcelona, Copa del Rey, Antoine Griezmann, Oriol Tomàs, Dídac Lee, Camp Nou