The collaboration between igaming and streaming has never been more intertwined and is one which grows closer by the week and month as stakeholders increasingly see the value, and platform, that is offered and reachable.
In the first part of an extensive slot streaming series to be rolled-out by CasinoBeats over the course of the next few weeks, we are speaking to numerous industry incumbents to gain key insight into the growing trend and its future capabilities.
Act one, scene one, sees supplier’s take centre stage, with Pawel Piotrowski, new games manager at Yggdrasil Gaming, Tamas Kusztos, head of sales and account management at Kalamba Games, Peter Causley, Lightning Box’s CEO and co-founder and Ruben Loeches, R Franco Digital CMO, addressing added restrictions in recent times and the growth of streaming channels.
CB: During the current health pandemic we have seen numerous regions impose, or look to impose, added restrictions on a number of issues. What effect has this had on marketing techniques?
PC: The most visible and tangible impact has been on the retail industry, be that casinos or betting shops, obviously. Things are starting to get back to normal, and long may that continue, but businesses have effectively been mothballed without customers coming through the doors.
When it comes to online, sensitivities around player protection have been heightened – and so they should be. We have to act responsibly as an industry, whether that is suppliers like us or operators, to ensure players stay safe and enjoy our products responsibly. If that means temporary restrictions on stake limits, changes to advertising, etc then so be it. We’re all in this together.
RL: The restrictions that have been introduced during the pandemic have affected, and will continue to affect, the marketing plans of all companies. The gaming sector was never going to be an exception.
From my point of view, more and more regulated markets are approaching almost a situation where gambling is almost considered illegal. Advertising is being heavily restricted across all key channels. Accordingly – marketing teams are having to look for more even key niches, as well more technologically advanced audio-visual content.
PP: At Yggdrasil, we always aim to make top quality games that are widely enjoyed by our players. A key component of this is to create a good understanding of our current and future players which is supported by being present on some of the major community forums as well as engaging with streamers.
That said, engaging with Yggdrasil and playing our games should be entertaining but also done in a responsible manner. We take responsible gaming seriously and continuously work on keeping our products not only fun, but also safe and fully compliant with regulatory policies and market guidelines.
TK: It has made it harder for operators to advertise in some countries and many have taken a more cautious approach even where no restrictions require it. For our B2B audience, the big difference is how industry events have had to change, moving to an all digital delivery.
While it’s obviously a little less personal, organisers have overall done a great job in offering a very similar experience to the real deal and in some ways even improved it. For example, virtual sessions are much easier to attend and absorb, plus analysing and evaluating the event afterwards is more straightforward as we have access to readily available data straight afterwards.
CB: We are seeing the role and influence of streamers grow throughout igaming, is this an avenue you have considered exploring? And why/why not?
RL: It’s an area of great interest to us, and we are already engaged in a few associations with streamers. Why? It’s simple. The consumption of multimedia content is growing fast, and therefore streamers are generating more and more followers. We see this as a great channel for expanding our message, as well as adapting our products towards the preferences of the new generation of user.
PP: Streamers are probably the biggest influencers in the gambling community and therefore it is natural for us to come up with content that is relevant to the streamers community. We follow this on a daily basis and treat it as an invaluable source of intelligence and feedback on our games performance.
You can get a streamer to promote your game but it’s not going to work if it’s not a great product. The followers will understand that the streamer’s interest in the game is not authentic and it’s going to backfire for both the provider and the streamer. Any feedback coming from the stream, especially a harsh one is great for improving our future games and making them more relevant and more successful.
It’s kind of a symbiosis where we listen to the steamers and improve our products to make their broadcast even more entertaining. We want our games to be streamed and the streamers want great content that will keep their followers on the edge of their seats.
TK: Yes, in fact we have recently completed an industry first promotion where we invited streamers to play our games over a two week period. The winner, CasinoTest24, is designing a new game with us as we speak.
Generally speaking, streamers create communities which help us understand what players actually like or find important about certain games and the industry in general which means we can improve our offering.
PC: We’re always looking for opportunities to engage with the right streamers to play our games. They have a big influence on player preferences, especially on the Twitch platform, and can be a valuable ally.
They provide interesting and entertaining reviews of slots that can really boost the presence of a game. The impartiality they bring to the table is healthy for suppliers and operators and useful to players wanting to find the best games.
Players feels like they are part of the streamer’s journey when they watch them play, especially with the near misses and wins on bonus feature triggers and Jackpots. I think it has been a welcome development.