Trends & best practices

To stream or not to stream?

September 14, 2022 By: Alex Thomson

Conventional wisdom has a bad rap, albeit mainly because it’s been proven to be wrong so often. “You’ll catch a cold if you go out dressed like that”, “Of course the earth is flat.”  Conventional wisdom should be challenged at every turn. 

Here’s another one specifically for iGaming, “streaming sports on our site helps make money and keep customers.”  But is this actually true? 

Every month new streaming deals are announced across the iGaming industry, involving millions of pounds, euros or dollars, but how do gaming companies know the value of this spend? How can they prove there’s a return on this investment, and how do they know where the balance is between cost and return? To get even more granular, how can operators know how to promote or simply display live event streaming without taking away from the rest of the site experience?

Quantum Metric was recently asked to help answer these  exact questions with one of its gaming customers, and managed to actually quantify the value of streaming events as part of a gaming offering. Here are some of the key findings: 

  • Retention and engagement: Audiences with streaming spent 363% longer engaged on the site on average compared to those without.  By itself, an impressive figure, although not necessarily indicative of a return on investment. However, add to this that with new players, the return rate is 4% higher with streaming than for those without, and the case for retaining and engaging customers becomes clear. 
  • In-depth engagement: For those with streaming, it took longer for a customer to make their first bet going up from 2.3mins to 3.1mins.  However there was also more than triple the average click count and notably more than double the increase in average pages per session. Clearly, engagement is much higher with event streaming 
  • Commitment: Perhaps most importantly for gaming companies are the betting rates. People may be more considered about bets placed, but when they do, commitment is much higher, with average betslip value for streaming audiences coming in more than 50% higher, and average bets per session coming in almost three times higher.  
  • Success rates: In a more unpredictable benefit to streaming, bet failure rate is actually six times lower for the streaming audience, meaning happier customers and fewer contact center calls.

Experimentation has always been key in making digital products successful.  Trial and error, based on understanding behaviour, are likely to lead swiftly to success, and so it is with streaming services as part of an iGaming offering.  Yes – it’s clear that streaming is beneficial, but even with this knowledge a lot of questions are left unanswered. Operators still need to understand which events this applies to, where to place streaming windows, whether they should be open by default or as a user option etc.  More so, does the price of the streaming licence and the backoffice tech-stack to enable it add up to a profit? Can you include the value of greater customer loyalty from a better gaming experience  in that price?

For these things, operators need continuous and long-term visibility into player behaviour. One snapshot does not answer all things, and consumers are fickle and changeable creatures that take preferences from eCommerce experiences elsewhere.  


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