We’ve caught up with founder of pixel.bet , Richard Smith to find out how his new esports brand is mastering the mobile esports sector.
The company recently launched it’s esports platform in the Europe and CIS regions and we wanted to get a better insight on how these markets are developing and how affiliates can take advantage of early adoption of the platform.
Affiliate Insider: Richard, Can you tell us what your specific USP’s are and why affiliates should consider working with esports brands now?
Richard Smith: pixel.bet has launched its mobile first live betting platform to European and CIS regions, with plans to release in UK later in the year.
Our USPs are a simple initiative site aimed at the esports only gambler. The whole experience from registration to bet placement is fast and simple and we pride ourselves on excellent customer support and offering promotions and content tailored to the eSports fan.
Our product built in house is unique with many bespoke features such as our quickbet interface and we have many exciting developments planned around fast betting and leading the way with live betting markets created in house – which will provide an excellent product experience for our players.
We have developed good relations already in the community and players can expect exciting unique offers through our relationships with some of the worlds most popular influencers and streamers, which are really exciting for us at pixel.bet but also for our affiliates.
AI: The esports Market seems to be growing rapidly yet there is still a gap in terms of how affiliates can capitalise on this market. What insights can you share on the current state of play?
RS: The current state of play is quite complex. Esports acquisition is less dependent on bonuses now, more brand and influence in the community and who is recommending you and who is trustworthy. This is mainly because most brands are so new, and you do not have an array of long established companies that people know about. There is quite a lot of different approaches to betting on esports in the industry right now, from skins, crypto, eSports only focused brands, to traditional sportsbooks and I believe that affiliates can really help players navigate the whole landscape, and this offers great opportunities.
AI: There are a lot of sports books diversifying into the esport market is this a relevant cross sell and should sportsbook affiliates be considering this diversification as a means to grow their revenue?
RS: Its going to be a potentially faster growing market than traditional sports over the coming years, so its right for sports affiliates to have a strategy for this. However I think the opportunity is more to acquire new players from a different segment who can then be cross sold sports and casino later on. Right now a lot of the new players to eSports betting are also completely new to gambling. This presents challenges and opportunities for affiliates and operators. However its important to recognize this, and present product and content in a way that makes sense to these players who are totally new to betting.
AI: What have you found are the biggest challenges that small entrepreneurs like iGaming affiliates face in terms of understanding the psychology around esports players and engaging them effectively online to transact?
RS: Influencers are important, live streamers and also review sites within esports players. Also esports enthusiasts are used to spending a long time online, from reading about esports, watching or playing games online. This means that the target audience are used to consuming alot of online content and you need to engage with them using interesting and unique content to get them to convert to moving to online gambling sites. Also the psychology in esports players is very challenge based. They like to complete actions and be rewarded in real time for these, like in gameplay – which is a crucial difference from traditional sports players who are more likely to want to get things done as quick as possible, and less interested in a gamified product.
AI: What do you think the future of Affiliate Marketing looks like for esports channel?
RS: The future will have to be experiential, the days of static marketing pipelines blindly driving traffic to highest yielding destination are counted. Customers in esports are technologically savvy and are presented with marketing prompts and affiliate offers multiple times every day.
The Winner will offer an insider look into the world of esports or add additional value either by aggregating offers toward scale or by being laser focused on a very specific area (size of the fish relative to size of the pound).
AI: What role can affiliates play in the current ecosystem and will early adopters have the opportunity to establish a revenue niche?
RS: The opportunity, I would argue, is bigger than with traditional Igaming. Igaming mechanics have been simplified over the year to facilitate onboarding, acquisition and retention of new players. But the ever increasing level of complexity involved in promoting, playing competitively or even betting on eSports creates an opportunity for educational layers to be built between the base of players, coaches, teams and operators and the audience.
AI: Do you feel current incentive / revenue models from iGaming Affiliate programmes are effective for esports marketing? If not – why? Do affiliates in this space require fixed fee, rev share or alternative marketing incentives (ex. Loyalty and Rewards schemes for tickets to live tournaments)?
RS: In a word, NO! The challenges lie less with the revenue mechanics than it does with creating contextually relevant and exciting offer for a very “switched on” audience. Your typical affiliate revenue deals will have to evolve towards rewarding repeated engagement over a short period of time as well as prioritise repeated revenue over single conversion point. It s all about the Hook Model especially in this increasingly competitive esports Affiliate offering.
AI: What are your thoughts around the release of LOOT boxes in various esport games such as World of Tanks. How do you feel this incentive scheme works for monetisation of customers and could affiliates create their own LOOT style schemes to encourage players to convert in future?
AI: The lootboxes are a simple way to disguise variable rewards mechanics which are a staple of the Gambling Industry. However I would also argue that every social network is also built on the same mechanics hidden in news feeds. Therefore it is less about using these mechanics or not and more about making sure the LOOTBOX are regulated, the younger audiences protected and that real measurable value is delivered to the players outside of the typical pay to win model.