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Fox Sports and Luminate Team Up on Stats App for Images

Today Fox Sports and Luminate rolled out a co-developed image app that brings player stats to photos across FoxSports.com, starting with the galleries in the NBA section.

Anthony Ha at TechCrunch says we’ve finally expanded beyond the label some reporters have attached to us, the “AdSense for Images.”

This is a pretty far cry from what Luminate was doing originally, which was automatically tagging fashion and entertainment images with relevant e-commerce links (so that you could see a photo of snazzy red coat, then click to buy it). The company hasn’t abandoned that idea, but it’s thinking bigger than that — last year it launched a platform for a variety of different image apps. That’s the same platform that Luminate and FoxSports used to build their current integration.

TechCrunch asked me what Fox Sports gets out of the partnership, to which I replied:

Luminate delivers value to publishers in three ways: increasing audience engagement, growing traffic by plugging images into their social strategies, and boosting revenue through advertising around the image apps. An important part of our philosophy, though, is that we always prioritize the consumer experience first, which is why the initial focus here is the stats content. The best ad-supported businesses are ones built around high-quality, deeply engaging content experiences. Opportunities for brands will follow shortly.

Something else I like about this new app: It turns each sports photo into a living, auto-updating replacement to those cardboard baseball cards I had as a kid. Now when you check out any image of your favorite player — even one from last week or last season — you’re always getting the current snapshot of his or her performance. The only thing lost is that stiff piece of gum they used to include inside each pack of cards.