The fortunes of Italian football companies have taken a massive hit from the internet and social media in recent years.
The online giants, including Udinese, Inter, Napoli and Juventus, lost almost half of their business to online platforms and social networks, according to a new report.
A study by Italian media consultancy firm Sifma showed the online giants had lost almost 60% of their revenues in 2017, while social media companies like Facebook and Instagram had gained more than 80%.
In contrast, Italian football clubs had enjoyed an 80% increase in profits from 2016 to 2017, with a big portion of the gain coming from the use of social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram.
The companies’ revenues in 2016 were almost twice the value of the club’s total revenue.
Udinese lost almost 80% of its profits in 2017 and Inter lost more than 70% of those too, according the study, which was released by Sifmas.
It was not possible to reach out to Udinese or Inter representatives for comment.
The report also said the online platforms had become a lucrative source of revenue for Italian football teams, with the use and sharing of their content a major revenue generator for Italian clubs.
The use of the platforms has grown by more than 500% in Italy since 2010, Sifmass said.
Juventus, the Serie A team that competes in Serie B and is in the process of selling to a Chinese consortium, had an average of over 4.2 million followers on Instagram in 2017.
Udine lost nearly 40% of the revenue in 2017 with its account on Instagram gaining more than a billion views, according Sifmatic.
Napoli, who were recently relegated to Serie B, lost over 80% and Inter more than 60%.
Inter’s account on Twitter increased by 100% in 2017 alone, while the club has also gained about 2 million followers since its takeover by Italian group Fenix, Siffa said.
It added that the growth in popularity of the social networks has helped Italian football players to become “a household name” in Italy.
“The growth of the internet, particularly Instagram, has been the key driver for football in Italy and in Italy’s soccer-obsessed culture,” the report said.