Andy Kelly, our Commercial Manager (UK & Europe) at SIS, explains why suppliers need to develop platform-friendly products to stake a claim across a rapidly changing betting ecosystem.
If a week is a long time in politics, then a couple of years is an eternity in the world of online betting and gaming.
What seemed true in certain markets back in 2020 – that operators could simply develop their own platform technology, piece by piece, to entirely dominate – appears to be less so now.
There has been a period of self-reflection for some larger operators in fast-growing markets. Enormous marketing outlay to acquire players has consistently outstripped the lifetime value of those acquisitions, creating a significant issue on the balance sheet.
At the same time, the lack of agility from a technological standpoint has led to what you could argue is a vanilla offering across some of the biggest operators. Perhaps, then, it is only natural that, particularly with smaller sized operators, the spotlight is increasingly being shone on the platform and product quality as a way of gaining a competitive advantage.
The ability to quickly integrate a wide variety of content suppliers onto cutting-edge platforms that can roll out content to players as soon as possible is a cost-efficient way of differentiating an offering, while potentially gaining the early-mover advantage over larger, operators who may take longer to move.
What we are increasingly seeing is that many platform providers are looking to create and provide flexible, agile solutions – presenting a major opportunity for operators that want to differentiate their offering and for the suppliers that can help them achieve it.
Increasingly, suppliers are embracing the fact that for operators below the top tier levels, reliance on their platform from a technical perspective is absolute. There is neither the capacity, nor the will to funnel resources into multiple, time-consuming integrations.
This means that suppliers need to adopt a much more platform-friendly approach across the board, from creating products that are streamlined in terms of integration, right across to carefully structured commercial modelling.
At SIS, this is a major focus for us. Whilst we have built our heritage around horse and greyhound racing, we have a set of new products that have been tried and tested over several years but are still relatively new in terms of their life cycle. So, for suppliers like us, we want to be able to push these products out to operators as quickly as possible, reaching as many customers as we can.
For example, esports-based products can help operators attract a whole new customer demographic. This type of content can certainly provide a competitive advantage from a platform perspective. What is key is that suppliers can provide attractive products that can attract new audiences while proving quick to integrate, with simple and comprehensive documentation, and with a dedicated team managing that integration.
While the constant development and improvement of products is naturally vital to maintain a position as the provider of choice, a single integration onto a platform that can provide reach through multiple operators is an attractive and efficient route to market. Those platforms that can offer compliance across multiple territories, attractive features, tools to engage with players, and the broadest range of product verticals will perform strongly.
Right now, we are extremely active in developing new relationships with platform providers. It is a major strategic focus to deliver betting content that offers not only ease of integration but round-the-clock betting opportunities and fresh verticals, including end-to-end esports products that are high in both integrity and margin for operators, and integrating onto the new breed of platforms will allow us to make a bigger impact. Content remains king in the world of online betting, and it is incumbent on suppliers like us to continue to provide new, compelling betting content that can help drive profitable revenues for operators globally.