Seven West Media has announced a strategic investment with Australian media gaming and technology business, Aura, to deliver game-changing engagement across its market-leading BVOD service, 7plus.
The investment will also see Aura’s next-generation technology integrated into 7plus, creating an unrivalled immersive experience that places Seven’s streaming service at the forefront of digital innovation in Australia.
Aura, which was named Best Emerging Tech Company at the 2021 SportsPro OTT Awards in London, uses video game technology that can stream content. Its immersive platform supercharges the screen experience for viewers and advertisers with an interface that is completely interactive.
Operating like a video game, Aura’s advanced technology will take the user and ad experience to the next level by aggregating content, data, social and transactional capability into one environment, allowing the viewer to take full control of the experience.
Functionally on 7plus, Aura will allow viewers to easily switch between different interactive options – including alternate camera angles, e-commerce, free-to-play games, live statistics and more – without losing the live primary feed, creating a “sticky” environment that keeps audiences engaged for longer.
Seven West Media Chief Digital Officer, Gereurd Roberts, said: “Aura is globally recognised and its unique technology will redefine the content experience for Australian audiences through 7plus, taking our premium, personalised user interface to the next level.
“With Aura, 7plus can converge interactive virtual reality and augmented reality experiences, and integrate social feeds and e-commerce easily into both live and on-demand content, bringing a new and exciting dimension to our leading sport and tentpole programming.
“Aura have worked with some of the top tier sporting codes around the world. For Seven’s unbeatable sporting schedule – which will include full digital rights to the AFL from 2025 – this technology gives us the potential to deliver viewers the opportunity to access stats during events through live data visualisation, purchase merchandise while watching, change camera angles in real-time, chat with other fans and so much more, all without leaving the action,” Mr Roberts said.
Seven West Media Chief Revenue Officer, Kurt Burnette, said: “Our investment in Aura is set to redefine the way streaming is delivered and consumed in Australia. It will create new advanced, flexible advertising solutions that will help brands get ahead of the competition and engage viewers in hyper-contextualised, personalised and innovative new ways on 7plus.
“Aura is a disruptive digital player that will help marketers grab and hold the attention of younger audiences who have moved away from passive viewing and have grown up dual screening and in full control over what they watch, whenever they want. Its Twitch-style features will allow interactive elements that brands can use for different advertising and sponsorship opportunities.
“Our partnership with Aura is the latest example of Seven’s digital-focused strategy to invest in the future of media, push the boundaries of content delivery and find new ways to engage audiences at scale,” Mr Burnette said.
Aura Chief Executive Officer, Antony Arena, said: “We are extremely excited to be working with the Seven Network to create the future of interactive entertainment and bringing our home-grown technology to Australian audiences and advertisers. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner in this market.”
Seven West Media’s investment in Aura, under its Seven West Ventures banner, was including in the company’s 2021-22 financial results and aims to both enhance Seven’s digital capability and help accelerate the growth of Aura through Seven’s unbeatable scale and national audience reach. Commercial opportunities using Aura and 7plus are expected to roll-out in 2023.