One of the fastest growing industries in the world is online gaming.
The 90’s internet boom — and the rapid evolution of technology since — has seen the rise in tech company giants, like Apple and Microsoft, and drastically changed the way we work, live and especially, play. The online gaming market has more than doubled in size since 2009. In 2015, it was worth $37.91 billion USD, a number that is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years, with a forecasted value of $60 billion USD by 2020.
The success of online gaming is due, in part, to the popularity of games that existed well before the era of the internet. A game like bingo, for example, has been played since the mid-16th century and over the years has transitioned from village hall or the local church online — where, according to the UK Gambling Commission, it is currently worth £1.3 billion.
Growing their market share
The ballooning size of the gambling industry in the UK is a direct result of the liberalisation of gambling laws by the Tony Blair government. The Gambling Act of 2005 not only established the UK Gambling commission (which oversees and regulates the industry) but ushered in new laws around TV advertising for sports betting, online casinos and poker. Income from remote betting, like online casinos poker and bingo, now makes up more than a third of the industry — in 2017 alone it was worth £4.5 billion.
The liberalisation of several laws, as well as the lucrative nature of the marketplace, has led to the saturation of online gaming developers and websites. As the competition increases, many gaming companies are looking to attract key demographics, such as millennials — many of whom have grown up alongside the rise of the internet — into their customer base.
One of the ways this has happened is through the development of their mobile platforms. As younger generations increasingly access the internet through their phones, online gaming companies have put more research and development into mobile compatibility for their games. Gaming websites need to be mobile responsive, as they’re being accessed on the go through different brands of tablets, as well as smartphones like iPhones and Androids.
There are other tactics gaming companies have used to grow their market share. New forms of gambling, and the creation and management of online forums, have increased the excitement around gaming — including game launches and entertainment experiences.
Gaming companies have also took advantage of some of the new ways that younger generations are utilising fintech. This includes accepting cryptocurrency on bets placed, and looking at incorporating the increasingly popular startup banks, like Monzo and Tide, into their payment options. They’ve also been experimenting with different forms of content.
By offering tips on gameplay and different rewards on their websites, new gamers are more likely to access and enjoy the entertainment experiences they offer. It’s an effective way of reaching new demographics; especially millennials who are already well-versed in technology.
Promotions and affiliate marketing
With the increasing saturation of the gambling market, companies have begun to seek out new ways to entice customers onto new bingo websites and gaming platforms. This has resulted in the rise of various offers and promotions. One of the leading bingo affiliate companies, Bingoport takes this a step further and encourages users to sign up their website and simultaneously earn reward points in exchange for reviews and game plays. These rewards can typically be converted to discounts for various online purchases
A great example of this are the sign up offers available on many different gambling websites. Many of these offers include a sign up bonus (like free spins) and no deposits for play — encouraging new customers to see the potential value for their time of play. Many websites offer an overview of the different promotions available across the marketplace, which include every thing from poker and bingo to slots and roulette websites.
Affiliate marketing is one of the many ways that other industry professionals get involved in the gambling marketplace. It also plays a massive role in the success of online casinos, not only by driving traffic to operators’ websites but ensuring that traffic is already interested in what the online casino is offering.
Affiliate content comes in many different forms, to blog posts and articles (including lists and product reviews) to banner ads on the website. Affiliate marketing is a revenue share model; affiliates are paid a percentage of the net revenue that is incurred by directing their readers to the casino website.
There are many advantages of this style of marketing for all parties involved. For the casinos, affiliate marketing means high-quality traffic — a reader will get to learn, and become very interested, in whatever the blog post, or article, might suggest. Unlike a simple advert, an article is much more explorative — and comes off a lot more exciting to users than the plethora of ads they’re used to seeing.
There’s a massive benefit to affiliate publishers too. It offers a long-term income; trusted partners can get up to 50% commission for the traffic they send to gambling websites. It’s truly a great opportunity for all involved, and has had big implications in terms of the growth of the gambling marketplace.
The journey continues
Online gaming is expected to continue on its journey as one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Games that people have played for generations are developing rapidly in the online space — and new ones are being developed everyday. Gambling companies will continue to try out new tactics to get the edge over competitors, including promotions and affiliate marketing. It’s an exciting industry to be part of; and one that will only get better as technology evolves.