iGaming Business magazine Mobile Gaming Outlook - Page 3

Mobile Gaming Outlook STANDING APART IN MOBILE GAMING Frank Wenzig assesses the constant evolution of mobile and how it should support an operator’s overall roadmap A few years ago, the betting and gaming industry was warned that end users would be spending more time on their mobiles. Whether it was due to the popularisation and improvement of smartphone technology, or the ubiquity of generous bandwidth levels, the truth is this forecast became a reality earlier and more seamlessly than anyone expected. Far from being a fad, user trends in mobile technology have diversified and consolidated to the point where mobile betting has quickly become a key fixture in almost all bookmakers’portfolios. The figures in terms of user spending are astonishing and that is true across all demographics. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not just millennials who are into mobile either. Everyone’s on board and, by the look of it, will continue to be for some time. However, when it comes to development the mobile landscape is a complex picture. The level of diversification, if not fragmentation, is vast. On the one hand, there are the hardware manufacturers and software providers. But there are also other areas, such as new product features and updates as well as bandwidth providers. Then there’s the issue of geographical locations and their differing standards and legal frameworks. The vast array of middleware providers, plug-in requirements and so on also add to the increasing complexity of it all. As a result of all this, perhaps understandably, our industry has reacted in different ways. Some have opted for delegating or partnering with companies that are accustomed to this landscape, while others have invested in the creation of bespoke internal teams. Whatever the approach, it is unlikely that anyone has, or feels they have, the perfect solution. It’s not just the market that is evolving quickly; competitors and client expectations are as well. What is clear is that many companies have taken advantage of the opportunities available. The revenues, usage levels and portfolio variety, among other metrics, demonstrate this. There are some real success stories out there. And while it’s perfectly Frank Wenzig is general manager of gaming at Sportradar. He joined back in October 2010 as associate director of product management after Sportradar acquired Aitainment. Frank assisted an initial team of 12 in the unit’s main base in Bremen, developing the virtual sports meets sports betting strategy that exists today. reasonable to feel somewhat overwhelmed at times in an everchanging environment, many companies will quite rightly enjoy a strong sense of accomplishment from their journey so far. So, what’s next? Should operators continue to strive for a more flexible approach, or is it time to consolidate the internalisation of all processes? And, crucially, which key trends will affect growth and define client expectations? Finding the perfect answer to those questions is likely to remain an industry-wide concern for some time. There are so many ongoing factors at play, coupled with another key question that must be taken into account when revising any given mobile strategy: should a service provider focus on trying to offer all services and attempt to match competitors at all times? At Betradar, we believe this is both impractical and unoriginal. The diversity of products, clients and all additional factors at play demand unique solutions. Given the situation and the continuous opportunities opening up, a bold, daring strategy is the one most likely to be successful. The current scale of opportunities demands leadership, a commitment to the mobile platform and to solving its challenges via innovative and robust solutions. This approach ought to support a company’s roadmap in terms of its key products. In that respect, listening to clients is as important as it has ever been. The more one knows about the end user’s ultimate needs, the better. The combination of a decisive commitment to leading in terms of the mobile platform, an innovative roadmap, knowledge of the needs of key clients, and quality insights into end user habits demonstrates the path ahead. i GamingBusiness | Issue 112 | September/October 2018 83