Based in Tel Aviv, Commologic is an igaming supplier and start-up which has made a superb start to 2016 after agreeing a deal with Unibet to supply the operator with its BetUP second screen live betting product.
BetUP is focussed on entertainment and fan engagement in that it allows customers to bet quickly and easily on any device on, mostly, imminent inplay markets. The aim is to avoid overloading the consumer with too much information and keep it a simple and enjoyable experience.
We chatted to Founder and CEO Tamir Berler to talk about the importance of second screen focussed products, how to target those elusive recreational players and how operators are missing a trick or two in regard to inplay betting.
SBC: Hi Tamir, good to catch up. How was ICE this year and what’s the latest with Commologic?
Tamir: ICE was manic as always but it provided an excellent opportunity to meet people and discuss our products. We had a number of great meetings and things are looking very exciting for the year ahead. ICE is always a good opportunity to catch up with old friends in the industry too!
The latest at Commologic HQ is that we’re delighted to say that Unibet has taken on our second screen product BetUP. We’ll be focussing on guaranteeing that this is a success, we have a product roadmap in place to ensure that it continues to be innovative and engaging for the end user. We also have some other exciting projects in the pipeline but I’ll keep those under wraps for now!
SBC: Which customers is BetUP targeting? It’s surely a product which could be used on entertainment markets too…
Tamir: We like to say we’re offering customers an experience, our product is a softer, entertainment game as opposed to a typical betting app that you’ll get from the bookmakers. It’s primarily geared towards younger sports fans, the more recreational players that are tough to convert and would expect second screen experiences to be seamless, intuitive and fun.
In principal yes it could move into the novelty markets, BetUP is a second screen live prediction app meaning that any live broadcasted event is a candidate. Theoretically it could be applied to reality television, for example a fan could have the option to place a bet on the next celebrity to have a tantrum in the Big Brother house. The possibilities are endless!
In fact we’ve had some interesting and encouraging chats with media companies who are interested in these types of products. For the time being though our business focus remains in real money betting on football, this is the priority in terms of generating revenue and growing the business from there. Other sports are definite candidates too such as basketball, tennis, American sports and even horseracing.
The idea is that instead of putting a customer in front of endless lists of markets, handicaps and odds, it’s about simplifying betting by guiding you into an exciting live betting experience.
That’s not to say BetUP is limited, we have an innovative library of over 100 different “betting challenges” just for football. The game is orchestrated such that customers are triggered to think about how the match will unfold in the next few minutes; meaning that the focus is on living the moment.
SBC: You’ve said recently that whilst sports betting is thriving there’s been little in the way of softer, complementary products. How much value can such products bring to a betting operator?
Tamir: The potential is huge, and with sports betting in the UK there’s a lot of competition around the same customers. Operators struggle to reach out to new players who either aren’t targeted properly or the operators are failing to convert them. Statistics wise 85% of the UK’s football fans aren’t betting online today. If you manage to reach another 5% you’ll still be doing extremely well.
These customers are the the ones that bookmakers are after these days. The issue is in how to approach them. Whilst leading bookies are doing a great job in terms of marketing and getting the message across, when it comes to the product there’s not much that is new, nor aimed specifically at this demographic.
SBC: Is BetUP designed to introduce customers to inplay betting?
Tamir: Exactly. Whilst many people are now aware of in-play betting that does not mean that everybody is engaged in it. From our findings there is a sizable amount of people who have been put off inplay betting by its seemingly over-complicated nature.
There is a gap in the market here, and it’s one which a simplified product such as BetUP can fill. As such some users may have a go at BetUP and find that it’s the ideal live betting product for them, whilst others may use BetUP as an educational tool. It can be a launchpad for certain customers where inplay betting is concerned, a softer game to lead them into the sportsbook markets.
Moreover as it is a game it’s hugely about ego, it isn’t just competing against a set of odds it’s competing against other people for real money prizes and jackpots. Ultimately it all comes down to customer engagement, for those that find the betting environment too complex BetUP is an excellent tool to keep them engaged during live sports events.
SBC: What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2016?
Tamir: We’ll be very focussed on making Unibet a success story in terms of product and business. We’re very privileged to have them as our first partner, and as such we’ll be working hard to see it take off.
Down the line we have an ambitious and innovative product roadmap, from the social aspect and from side offers we’ll be adding a lot to the game itself. Naturally we’ll also be focussed on finding more partners and adding more operators into our B2B network.
In the second half of the year there’ll be other products along the same line. We have at least one more game in the pipeline which we think bookmakers will be very interested in. It’ll be based on similar concepts as BetUP, intuitive and aimed at recreationals, but will take them one step further into the world of inplay betting.
Tamir Berler, Founder and CEO Commologic