Uniting the Netflix model and the gambling industry is a topic of conversation that has been rearing its head for quite some time now, but how realistic is it to suggest that igaming could compete for the attention of casual players? And, perhaps more crucially, what can be learned from the streaming platform?
Tasked with debating just that at the CasinoBeats Summit were Leanne Muleba, chief operations officer of Matching Visions, Yordy Diaz, product director at SpotGaming, and Vladimir Malakchi, chief commercial officer of Evoplay, with Simona Pinterova, co-founder of AYO.news, on moderating duty.
After being quizzed on what lessons can be taken from Netflix, and similar platforms for delivering entertainment and which are shaping trends in this space, Malakchi first cited strong brand appeal and localisation as key facets to the company’s success.
Moving on to look at adaptiveness, he stated: “And this kind of user approach is very important for the gambling industry as well, not only from an operator perspective who are working directly with players but also from B2B providers….we need to think about how the user will come to us, what they will see, and make this user journey as usual and make it for different audiences, and prepare your content for them.
“The next one I would like to mention is the adaptiveness, not only from a language point of view but also from all the devices, even if they think devices won’t be used.”
Muleba subsequently picked up the conversation by taking a distinct learn towards games themselves, and the rise and rise of mobile: “We need to be able to show that more people are being able to see it, and more people are aware of what’s going on when it comes to things like Netflix as they are user friendly,” she said.
“There are still a good majority of casinos that are still not fully user friendly, they still don’t have the proper mobile sites and many don’t have apps yet and many don’t have all of the stuff they need on mobile platforms, and this world is a mobile world.
“I think casinos should also localise content for not only every continent but also every country”Yordy Diaz, product director at Sportgaming.
“It’s less and less and less becoming about your laptops and your bigger equipment, it’s way more focused on your phone. We don’t sit on our laptops at the weekend, we’re on our phones.
“So, it’s definitely a big thing from our side that people need to be focused on adapting for all devices, it’s an extremely important thing and that will make things so much quicker and easier in this industry.”
Agreeing that mobile is the future of igaming, Diaz focuses in on Netflix’s localisation techniques as being key facet that the industry can learn from the firm: “I think casinos should also localise content for not only every continent but also every country, because if you generalise, if you give everybody the same thing then the player won’t feel special or won’t feel seen.
So, if you adapt the content to the market, you literally have to analyse what it wants and then give in to them. Someone in Mexico won’t play a game that is played in Spain, for example.”
Adding: “I think comparing casino and gaming sites with a streaming giant is like comparing apples and pears, as it’s on the spectrum of entertainment but we are on different sides.”
In segueing between topics, Pinterova spoke of the shock at a lack of both mobile friendly casinos, as well as a multitude of entities which display a wide range of offerings for everyone, stating that “it shouldn’t be like that, it should be specific offerings for different locations, different categories”.
Before Muleba argued that the industry should focus on larger games releases in order to appeal to a great audience, with some of the “smaller releases” needing to be cut “because that will cater for all people, whether it be the ten cent bet or the larger bets, whatever the regulations allows.
“There are still a good majority of casinos that are still not fully user friendly”Leanne Muleba, chief operations officer of Matching Visions.
“I think those are the ones that will keep things going and keep games providers relevant, because people wait for those big game releases.”
After first pointing to a “very very old school industry,” Malakchi argued that the reason for the release a smaller, low cast games is simply “because you need time,” with the introduction of new concepts, mechanics etc often requiring multiple months to catch on, with Instagram cited as a similar such example.
“Netflix is a set fee which you then have access to a lot of content, that is high quality content as well, and a gaming platform is a constant investment,” Diaz continued, before pondering if the Netflix model is feasible from a slots point of view.
“So everytime you come on site you pay a fee to have access to all of the content, so how are we going to work with it? Is something like a set fee for all of the content, would it be lucrative or would it actually affect the revenues? This is something that we need to actually think about as well.”
Arguing that adopting the Netflix model would result in online casino resembling that of social casinos, Malackhi also issued caution on high-rollers should this path be pursued:
“Will we use high rollers if we use the system that Yordy mentioned; yeah, we will lose it,” he added. “Because it is firstly not even old old school or millennials, it’s firstly about what is the reason why they are playing it.
“So for high rollers it doesn’t matter the amount of money what will be won or what will be lost, it is about entertainment. So, you are playing high roller to receive the higher sum, the higher amount of win at the end.”