iGB Live! 2019: Day 1 round-up

18 July 2019

As IGB Live! 2019 kicked off yesterday (17 July) much of the discussion centred around how affiliates can adapt to rising compliance presssures. Elsewhere, operators explored how to best take advantage of new opportunities in blockchain and esports.

The opening panel in the iGB Affiliate Amsterdam conference, “Zoom in on the UK”, saw perforrmance marketers on the affiliate and operator side dissect the changing marketing landscape and opportunities in the still core UK market.

Oddschecker Marketing Director Nadine Killoran said bringing traffic was not sufficient for success in today’s affiliate market without a strong understanding of regulation.

"It's great being creative marketers, but it's now about using more digital attribution channels, being able to track the player right through the cycle,” Killoran said. “So regulation and analytics are now key for me.”

“To be a good marketer in a highly regulated world you need to be living and breathing regulation."

“UK brands don't care about volume without knowing where it's come from anymore,” Eyal Moskovitz, Performance Marketing Director Ladbrokes Coral added.

However, Gavin Walters at Gambling.com said this focus on regulation didn’t mean the end for smaller affiliates.

"There is still room for one, two-man band affiliates,” Walters said. “They will always be there. Always a chance."

The issues of compliance and regulation for affiliates were discussed further at the “Do affiliates have enough liability?” counsel session, but TAG Media director Tom Galanis said the question of affiliate liability went even deeper.

"Aside from the liability discussion around compliance, there is one around business ethics and business practices,” Galanis said. “Right now I see this industry having to grow up very significantly very quickly."

AffiliateInsider founder Lee-Ann Johnstone and Shaun O’Neill, head of sales at XL Media, added that operators need to do more in their interactions with affiliates.

"Every operator that you work with has different standards,” Johnstone said. “Being an affiliate is, I think, one of the most complex jobs in the industry."

"Operators come to us and say 'We want your traffic,'” O’Neill said. “We say 'Great, meet with us every month and talk about what you want to do,' and they back off."

Meanwhile, as esports become a larger market for betting and opportunity for sponsorships, “Learn from Esports Pioneers” panelists stressed that involvement in the market needs to be more than superficial.

"To put a brand on a jersey, I never believed in that but especially in this industry it's not enough,” Luca Pagano, owner of the QLASH esports team said. “It helps with awareness but not with conversion."

"A lot of users are sat at home, watching the game on Twitch TV,” TheGdStudio founder James Harding said. “If you can bring up something on screen that says something like 'this is who we think is going to win' then you've engaged these users, you've added something to their experience."

"For anyone who is looking to get involved in esports, you should forget what you have learnt so far about marketing and sales,” Pagano said. “You should find the courage to hire someone really young. If you can find the formula, it can be a massive opportunity"

Harding added that esports represents a massive opportunity to betting companies because of the abundance of data that can be tracked.

"The thing about esports which is fantastic is we probably have better data than any sport,” Harding said. “We can tell you the movement of every player, their exact speed of movement, what kind of activity correlates with a win."

With many operators considering utilising blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions on their platforms, the HQ counsel attempted to tackle the question, “Is blockchain overhyped?”

"Are there constraints with blockchain? Yes. Is it overhyped? I don't think so,” Changelly CEO Eric Benz said.

However for Andrey Kuznetsov, CEO of KamaGames, an experiment with blockchain was not the success his company hoped it would be.

"The biggest problem for us with Blockchain was it was too complicated,” Kuznetsov said. “The vast majority of payments players make are emotional so players need to be able to make their payments within a few seconds."

Today will see experts analyse the affiliate opportunities in the US and Brazil and select the winner of the coveted Game To Watch prize for 2019.