The affiliate sector has been shaken up by a growing wave of consolidation, combined with increased regulatory responsibilities and levels of compliance placed on affiliates.
Ahead of the London Affiliate Conference (LAC), we caught up with Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard to discuss the state of the market, along with the importance of industry gatherings, and what he thinks will be the industry buzzword at this year’s event.
SBC: How important is Better Collective’s presence at industry gatherings such as LAC?
JS: It has always been important to present at industry gatherings, like LAC, for a variety of reasons. A fundamental motivator is of course networking – it is important to not only meet new people within the industry, but also to maintain the strong working relationships we already have with our partners.
With our industry being completely digital, a lot of partners and companies are operating around the globe and rarely get facetime with the people they are speaking to daily. Global meetups, like LAC, are the perfect way to reconnect and bring our industry beyond the screen.
Additionally, every one of these events are physical representations of how our industry is evolving. For Better Collective especially, we are proud to exhibit with a state-of-the-art booth at LAC, having previously exhibited at BAC 2017.
With the affiliate conferences having predominantly been a place for operators to exhibit, and affiliates meeting them on their home-turf, the notion of us exhibiting illustrates how the affiliate industry is truly maturing, and how we are becoming an integral part in the entire iGaming industry.
SBC: Given the increased regulatory responsibilities and levels of compliance placed on affiliates, has entering the market become less attractive?
JS: I do not believe it has become less attractive, but it has become more difficult. For smaller affiliates trying to enter the market, the resources needed to assure compliance are not always available. When that happens, the small affiliates are leaving themselves vulnerable to being disconnected from their operator partners.
However, affiliates that enter the market that put their energy and focus on remaining compliant will be able to profit in the long term, as they will be favoured by operators in the end. Plus, with the industry maturing, we are seeing a lot of larger affiliates acquiring smaller ones—and for those smaller affiliates looking to sell, having a compliant approach to the industry is a beneficial selling point.
SBC: What do you think will be the industry buzzword at LAC 2018?
JS: I think the buzzwords for LAC this year will be a continuation of the trends we saw happening last year: Compliance and M&A. It seems that these topics have been dominating the headlines in recent times, and I have a feeling they will continue throughout the year. On top of that, I think there will be chatter about the upcoming World Cup, and how everyone is preparing for one of the biggest iGaming events on our collective calendars.
SBC: What are your key objectives for this year’s event?
JS: My key objectives for LAC this year are all based around remaining in touch with the industry as it currently stands, and how I see it progressing. I hope to meet with the many old friends and partners that I have been seeing at these events for over 10 years now.
Now that we have a booth at the event again, I’m looking forward to inviting existing and prospective partners to our meeting rooms—both to catch up on life, as well as share ideas on how we can collaborate in the future. Plus, with our aggressive M&A strategy going strong, LAC is a great time to meet with potential sellers or be introduced to those who are interested in joining our Collective.