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 a continuation, and culmination, of our roundtable session that got underway earlier in the week, our slot streaming series continues by looking at the role of streamers, what the future holds and the rise of online.
Insight is provided once again by Pawel Piotrowski, new games manager at Yggdrasil, 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.
CB: The role of the streamer seems a relatively straightforward one on the surface, but what techniques could be adopted to ensure differentiation when utilising those individuals and their platforms?
PP: We have a suite of industry-first promotional tools that we use to incentivise our players, including the streamers. The streamers in cooperation with an operator can run various campaigns for their followers that are exclusive to our games. We are also working on new tools that are specifically designed for the streaming community. These are likely to revolutionise the streams in the future.
While we don’t shift our development focus exclusively to the streams, we always have them in mind and think about whether a new game we are designing will appeal to that community and how we can strengthen the appeal. Fun bonus games with great win potential are on the top of our checklist. A big win hit during the broadcast becomes a great advertisement for the game. We always want to become the streamers’ first choice when picking a game to broadcast.
TK: Streamers, like any other media channel, have certain attributes. We try to make sure that the streamers we work with are transparent and that their way of looking at the gaming industry resonates with Kalamba.
PC: I think it is important to look at the types of games particular streamers like to play and give their feedback on. A lot of them really know their audience and will try a certain game because they’ve got a good idea that it will be popular with their followers. As a supplier, you need to be a good judge of character and make sure the streamer’s personality will be beneficial.
It’s also important to ensure they have a solid understanding of slots and can play your games without having to brush up on the rules. They need to like your style of game play, so seeing them review previous games positively leads to a better chance of successful collaboration in the future.
RL: The key differentiator for streamers is their credibility. If that’s lost, everything’s lost. How can you lose that credibility? Having several advertisers from the same sector, for example. This can make the user think that the streamer does not really believe in the product and that everything is a commercial matter.
Exclusivity with a product is therefore a basic rule. From there, product tests can be carried out, direct joint meetings between the streamer and the brand’s staff, promotions and contests, product presentations in real time, and above all, the possibility of sharing content exclusively through this channel. This, too, will be greatly appreciated by the streamer because it gives added value to the deal.
CB: What do you believe the future holds for streaming? Particularly in the current climate?
TK: There are plenty of opportunities with streamers going forward whether it is player acquisition, community building, or even creating specific channels where streamers can play together with their followers. This is really just the beginning of a new era in many respects.
PC: I think streaming is here to stay for the foreseeable future. And if its success in video gaming is anything to go by, it will only increase in popularity in igaming. You also have to take into account the fact that more and more markets are regulating, increasing the size of the global player pool. You have to reach these players somehow, particularly when they’re taking precautions during the current pandemic and staying at home. Players enjoy watching streamers to keep them sane and entertained, so their increasing popularity is no surprise.
RL: Social streaming is now embedded in the industry as much as many other channels – and its potential for fast growth has few barriers. It’s the same for all media at the moment, more and more people prefer to watch and listen, than to read. This discipline goes hand in hand with the new generations of clients who are fully familiar with platforms such as Instagram, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Meerkat and Youtube Live, and the content they promote.
PP: I think the future looks very positive for streamers. They are in power, and as we know, with power comes great responsibility. It’s critical that streamers promote responsible gambling and don’t sacrifice that power for short term benefit. Being the gateway to igaming for many new players, one of their roles is to educate about the risks that come with gambling. Also, being the face of the player’s community, they can improve the way our industry is perceived and have an actual impact on future regulations.
CB: With a lot of business now conducted online, what else are companies doing to advertise to a new generation of tech savvy players?
RL: Companies try to see, analyse and detect new tastes and habits of the future player in order to adapt their product and marketing plans. In this respect, all the content around esports takes centre stage.
The case is simple. It brings together, in a single discipline, users who fully understand the mechanics of gambling and are already accustomed to the streaming process.
This means they have a desire to demonstrate their ability and knowledge – which in terms means more user generated content that is inevitably shared on social. Without a doubt, I’m confident that this will be a massive growth area.
PP: Our focus is on the top production quality and great entertainment value that can support our partners to differentiate and optimise offerings towards their player, and we always innovate to seek other possible forms of online entertainment. A mobile-first approach with a sleek UI and lightweight content is a must with the majority of players making their bets on mobile devices.
Live casino and live game shows are constantly gaining popularity especially now with land-based casinos currently in trouble, a trend that will most likely continue. I expect everything related to streaming and building social elements into gaming content to be growing in strength, especially with the new generation of players looking for slightly different experiences.
TK: Transparency and adopting engagement segments from social gaming and gaming in general are two of the things that are crucial in building trust and credibility in the marketplace. In the same way, talking about a mobile first approach is not only a visual necessity any more, but this needs to be implemented throughout in terms of session length, engagement, promotional tools and features to name just a few. It is all about great UX and UI to ensure players keep coming back to your games.
PC: We see social media channels as being very powerful tools in the quest to generate attention and attract younger and tech savvy players. If companies can effectively use the likes of LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch and YouTube to their advantage with the right marketing campaign and tools, they should be able to boost their player bases. Obviously, this goes hand in hand with having a quality video slot product that players keep coming back to play. You can’t have one without the other.