Ahead of SBC Summit Barcelona, the iGaming Daily podcast looks closer into the topics on display at the event. One of the latest episodes was centered around the convergence of gaming and sports media and their role in the future of sports betting.
Joining stand-in host, SBC News’ Senior Journalist Ted Orme-Claye, was Sam Sadi, CEO at Livescore who will be moderating a panel entitled “Game On: Unleashing the convergence of gaming and sport-media for the future of sports betting”.
Sam Sadi has been involved in sports betting and sports media since 1998. He observed the evolution of the relationship between sports media and betting and how symbiotic this relationship has been through the decades, he also witnessed how critical this relationship has been for the success of both sides of the coin, both media and betting.
Talking about convergence, Sadi pointed out that they use the term when several different components of a user’s consumption behavior can be brought together in a unified, seamless ecosystem. The ecosystem delivers a more efficient and frictionless user experience, and through that, is able to deliver more value to the user.
Outside the industry, he cites the example of Apple, which is the most known ecosystem of products out there. “You experience daily how your AirPods interact with your phones and how your Apple TV recognizes your devices, your account. And what this does is not only it becomes more convenient to use the ecosystem, but you get more out of it.
“And in our case, sports media and sports betting have always had a level of convergence. It’s just never been possible to offer this kind of fully integrated experience until now. But more importantly, it hasn’t been necessary. This has been a very profitable relationship over decades, so much so that neither side had an incentive to make it more integrated, to make it more efficient.
“But it’s only lately, through increased cost pressures and margin pressures, increased regulation, and increased competition, that both industries are looking for ways to increase the output that this relationship can deliver.”
The most important point is that convergence addresses an existing consumer behavior. Sports enthusiasts who are also interested in betting typically visit sports or news websites to research bets, gather information, and form opinions. Subsequently, they place bets with their preferred bookmakers and might later track these bets on platforms like Livescore. The innovation being introduced is a more streamlined approach to this behavior.
It aims to eliminate the inconvenience of using multiple apps and subscriptions. This new solution offers a unified experience, combining high-quality sports media consumption and a top-notch sportsbook. However, when the ecosystem provides an exceptional experience for both, users are more likely to become loyal to that integrated system. This approach confers a strategic advantage, particularly over companies solely focused on sports media or betting.
At the same time, Sadi believes that it is not necessary to provide everything on one platform. “You always need to take into account where the sports fans consume content. There are different ways of achieving convergence. It can happen over products that are fully owned and operated, such as Livescore and Livescore Bet, but you can also apply the same principles and stretch that into third-party platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
So you could create funnels into the same ecosystem, knowing that your users prefer to consume the content on those sites. You don’t always have to take over or compete with those platforms as long as you create seamless user journeys from them into your own ecosystem.”
Sadi will continue to discuss the topic of convergence in more detail at a special panel at the SBC Summit Barcelona on September 19-21. He added:
“The insights we’d look to deliver in that panel is making people aware of how difficult achieving success with convergence is. It’s very easy to assume that you bring together a popular sports media site with a sportsbook that users should naturally start migrating to the sports betting side, but it is not that easy.
“And maybe we give a little bit more awareness that some of the numbers that are being forecast are unrealistic and there would need to be a lot more technology investments and understanding of how convergence behaves before there will be industry-wide success in this business model.”
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