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Affiliate Announcements

Lindar Media played an April’s fools joke on Affiliates in the UK online bingo industry, we love it!

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You don’t hear this story everyday and most important, you don’t hear about April’s fools jokes on such level. Well, the guys at Lindar Media, who operate a couple of popular bingo affiliate sites such as onlinebingo.co.uk and twolittlefleas.co.uk, as well as actual bingo brands: circusbingo.com and pixiebingo.com, did it. They have managed to fool the top online bingo affiliates with the launch of a new bingo model called Square Bingo.

The story of the new brand’s launch is incredible and even managed to be quoted and mentioned by many. The games played and Imitation Game and managed to pull it off.

Below you can find the details of this prank and the outcome of it:

WHAT SQUARE BALLS SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO

After weeks of anticipation, Square Bingo finally launched on April 1, 2016. Except it didn’t.

Square Bingo was actually an April Fool’s Day experiment created by Lindar Media (that’s us) to gauge how the online bingo industry would react to a new, unknown and untested brand.
With just a few social media posts and a simple ‘Coming Soon’ page to the Square Bingo name, we were able to create a small but meaningful buzz among the country’s leading bingo affiliate sites.

But what does that tell us? Did a fictitious site shed light on some of the key issues affecting online bingo in 2016, and what did we learn about its treatment of the players that fund it?

THE IMITATION GAME

According to recent statistics from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), bingo sites had a Gross Gambling Yield (earnings retained by the operator after winnings had been paid) of £82m between November 2014 and March 2015. With such great rewards available, it is really any surprise that new bingo sites are launched on a monthly basis?

Well, we say new, but the majority of bingo sites are simply re-skins of older designs, intended to funnel players from one site to another with the promise of bigger bonuses and ‘original’ themes.

An overview of bingo site distribution by software in 2015

An overview of bingo site distribution by software in 2015

We operate a selection of networked sites ourselves and are also guilty of falling into this rinse and repeat cycle. But starting with the launch of Circus Bingo last July, and continuing with Pixie Bingo and Wild Spins, we are now trying hard to put our own unique mark on network software through the creation of distinguishable brands.

While Circus and Pixie are admittedly similar to each other, they are together much different from the 170+ other Dragonfish products – a trait that has been widely acknowledged by the industry:

“…to be fair they have tried to make it different and it looks totally different to anything else on this tried and tested network.” – Circus Bingo review, WhichBingo.co.uk

“…the site uses Dragonfish software but there is no way that we would be able to tell by looking at it. The new site uses a completely new template, and we have to say the site looks fantastic.” – Circus Bingo review, Bingoport.co.uk

“Circus Bingo is a Dragonfish network bingo site but is about as far from a standard Dragonfish skin as you could possibly imagine. The design of this circus and nuts themed site is absolutely stunning…” – BestNewBingoSites.co.uk

There’s plenty of room for operators to be adventurous if they want to be. Are players really crying out for another Welcome Bingo? We don’t think so.

Small steps, not giant leaps

PlayTech’s bingo variants and Tombola’s proprietary software aside, it has been years since an operator has offered a truly original approach, leading to genuine excitement when something slightly different arrives on the scene.

As a precursor to Square Bingo, PlayTech’s newest game, Cash Cubes, highlighted how even relatively simple changes continue to be celebrated as groundbreaking when it launched in March.

Cash Cubes: Bingo with cubes, not cards

Cash Cubes: Bingo with cubes, not cards

 

Then in April we saw 888Ladies launch playing card based, Flash Fives. Both of these games are essentially still bingo at their core; replacing the standard bingo card with a different object and speeding things up a bit.

How many more times will this concept be copied?

content_flash_fives_bingo_banner

Flash Fives: Bingo with (playing) cards, not cubes

 

A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE

Probably the biggest surprise about Square Bingo was that the domain wasn’t already taken.

After all, the formula for dreaming up a bingo site name is fairly simple:

1. Think of any everyday object, event, location, shape, colour… anything
2. Add ‘Bingo’ to the end of it

Square Bingo was no different. We deliberately chose it to be as plain and uninspiring as possible. Other names on the shortlist included Ironing Bingo, Paint Drying Bingo, Car Park Bingo and Grey Bingo.

Despite the boring name (Boring Bingo, anyone?), and with little to show besides the suggestion of more angular balls, journalists and affiliates began to take notice…

square-bingo-tweet

Making Square Bingo look real was actually quite easy. As well as the compulsory ‘Coming Soon’ page, we used a selection of channels to actively build community excitement. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Set up Facebook & Twitter profiles for Square Bingo (5 mins)
  • Posted one Tweet per day – usually including a square-based pun (30 secs per day)
  • Followed every bingo affiliate account we could find (5 mins)
  • Retweeted the occasional piece of bingo news (10 secs)
  • Set up a basic coming soon page (1.5 hours)

Our marketing even received compliments:

“This new site has a brilliant marketing scheme by keeping us all in the dark while at the same time giving us just a tiny bit of information to keep us coming back for more.

“According to the site… it’s going to completely change the online bingo world” really? Seriously, talking about dangling a carrot in front of us and then pulling it away!” – latestbingobonuses.com

Truth is, it probably totaled less than two hours work. Compare that to a real bingo brand in the weeks before its launch:

A Tale of Two Twitters: Square Bingo vs Tip Top Bingo (Pre-launch)

A Tale of Two Twitters: Square Bingo vs Tip Top Bingo (Pre-launch)

No history? No problem.

Thanks to our rather basic promotional strategy, we were offered affiliate and advertising deals for Square Bingo in March. Sites were willing to promote an unknown bingo brand with almost no confirmed information about the site.

Remember, Square Bingo was to run on a completely new platform (Shapesoft) and be operated by a company that even Google had no record of (CBWFL Media). Would there have been quality checks before our campaigns went live to safeguard players or was their experience being overlooked by the hundreds of affiliate sites desperate to cash-in on their deposits? It would certainly seem so.

The extent of our communication with affiliates before April 1

The extent of our communication with affiliates before April 1

World First Features

We updated Square Bingo on the first of April to include a list of (fake) world-first features, including the much-predicted square bingo balls, a spin the square bonus game and an exclusive partnership with a famous London landmark.

content_square_bingo_feature_overview

Revealed: The full list of Square Bingo features

We sent a version of this press release to hundreds of people in the bingo industry, published news on OnlineBingo.co.uk and Two Little Fleas, and updated the Square Bingo social profiles. We were fortunate that our work in the lead up to 1st April kept people invested in the launch and allowed the scenario to play out in full. The whole thing could have immediately been called out as a joke, so why wasn’t it? We put this down to two reasons:

1. People were actually excited about the unlikely ‘innovation’ of square bingo balls

2. Affiliates didn’t want to harm their chances of doing a deal with us should the site not be fake – our players are worth money, after all

Above: Tweet (since deleted) by WhichBingo.co.uk

Tweet (since deleted) by WhichBingo.co.uk

 

April Fools!

 

Sticking to the traditions of April Fool’s Day, we finally revealed the truth about Square Bingo at 12 noon.

Our reveal included a message to affiliates and an exclusive Circus Bingo deposit code, designed to appease any players who felt robbed of a new site. Then, something strange happened: coverage of Square Bingo began to disappear.

We were accused of everything from having ‘more time on our hands than we know what to do with’, to conducting a ‘publicity stunt to get new players though the virtual doors of the site’.
These were the same people who just hours earlier were outwardly expressing their excitement for the features being teased.

News update by PlayingBingo.co.uk

News update by PlayingBingo.co.uk

We were disappointed (but not surprised) that the exclusive Circus Bingo offer was ignored, despite it being live for a significant part of the day.

Many of our affiliates were informed of the promotion, but not one updated their site to let their players know. Surely if sites were truly offering the best deals for players, they would have actually told them about it? Apparently not.

People simply turned their backs on Square Bingo because it was no longer a way to make money.

Square Bingo reveal page with Circus offer

Square Bingo reveal page with Circus offer

THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO

Square Bingo has reaffirmed our two major predictions for the future of online bingo:

1. The replication of tired experiences will lead to sites failing to build sustainable brands and loyal audiences.
2. Players will eventually resent being funneled between identical sites and flock to those with truly exceptional features, putting smaller sites at significant risk of closure.

We don’t know when the bubble will burst, but it’s surely only a matter of time, especially given ever-tightening rules and regulations.

UK Chancellor, George Osborne, recently unveiled plans to extend the General Betting Duty which would see operators paying tax on free bets like no deposit bonuses.

While the plans are still to be confirmed, they have the potential to immediately cut the profits of operators, leading to the possible abolition of bonuses altogether – one of the key differentiators between bingo sites in the current environment.

Some sites are already receiving negative feedback from disgruntled players over hefty wagering requirements; how long before they start rejecting them completely? What will attract players to a new site if there is no monetary incentive? This is the question that operators will need to answer.

The influence of affiliate deals on reviews

Affiliates are also responsible for driving the industry forward, but very few bingo portals offer genuinely honest and trustworthy reviews of bingo sites.

Reviews are instead based on the deals negotiated between sites and brands, leaving players without the insights they need to make informed decisions and making the ratings effectively worthless.

hat incentives are there for operators to create a new site of real value when its ultimate quality is determined by affiliate deals and welcome bonuses? Will we only see a rush of new ideas before the general betting duty is extended or will more forward-thinking operators step up earlier?

If the bonus culture was suddenly stopped, operators and networks would be forced to condense their portfolios and refocus on just a handful of sites.

Building new sites and moving players around comes at a hefty cost, so it makes sense to offer fewer higher quality sites and build a database of genuinely loyal players.

Who will take the first step and revolutionize the online bingo scene?

A BETTER DEAL FOR PLAYERS

The reaction to Square Bingo and its world first bingo balls highlights just how desperate the industry is for change.

We believe that it’s possible for operators and affiliates to provide a better and more rewarding experience for players in a way that remains profitable.

We’ve seen huge progress in the industry’s approach to responsible gambling in recent years. That same ideology and determination should be applied here too.

If we offer better – and expect better – we could all create an industry that is truly fun, fair and exciting for everybody.

It’s time to start thinking outside the box.
The article has been embedded from the following link: https://onlinebingo.co.uk/news/why-we-created-square-bingo

We have to stay it is a wonderful story and yet something to learn from in your are in the online bingo affiliate industry and why not the casino or sports betting. Imagine if there would have been bad intentions behind this prank….

Affiliate Announcements

3 New Websites Approved by QMRA

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QMRA Launches Ontario Quality Mark for Affiliates

 

QMRA was launched as a quality mark for iGaming affiliates at the beginning of February.

QMRA is the international follow up of KVA (https://kva.nl/), a successful Dutch iGaming Quality Mark (over 85 Dutch member websites, 10 connected operators among which bet365, LeoVegas, 711, tombola and more).

QMRA is available for the following markets:

Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, USA Michigan, UK, Poland and Estonia

Various well known international affiliate companies joined QMRA already:

  • Game Lounge, Gaming Innovation Group and Leadstar Media

Now, Applied Digital Media is part of our initiative as well: Casino.dk, OnlineCasino.be and OnlinePoker.se have been found compliant.

The above websites have been checked by our compliance team, following the applicable law (relevant for affiliates) in the respective jurisdictions. All websites received a report on how they comply with our QMRA codes:

https://qmra.eu/active-markets/belgium/, https://qmra.eu/active-markets/sweden/, https://qmra.eu/active-markets/denmark/

We expect to add more members in the coming weeks and invite anyone, active within one of the QMRA jurisdictions, to join us!

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Affiliate Announcements

WA.Technology Launches WA.Affiliates

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WA.Technology Launches WA.Affiliates

 

WA.Technology, an award-winning B2B iGaming solutions provider, announces the launch of WA.Affiliates, a next-gen iGaming affiliate management platform. WA.Affiliates empowers operators to manage and optimise their affiliate programs for enhanced profitability, broader market reach, and streamlined, successful operations. 

WA.Affiliates combines an intuitive user interface with a clean, functional design, facilitating simple affiliate performance management. The platform solution is built on real-time optimisation and informed analytics so operators can expand their reach, increase traffic, and boost revenue with maximum efficiency.

Key features include personalised and customisable agreements for each affiliate, integrated user tracking for intelligent insights, and an optimised iGaming-oriented back-office. WA.Affiliates’ support includes zero setup fees alongside free panel transitions and integrated wallets for transaction security and straightforward migration.

Operators can reap the benefits of effortless management thanks to WA.Affiliates’ user-friendly dashboard configuration. Around-the-clock support offers real-time assistance and uncomplicated navigation, giving operators the upper hand in the global marketplace. Hourly insights, detailed reports, and in-depth analysis perfect data-driven decisions for improved acquisition and retention strategies. WA.Affiliates also motivates affiliates via its engaging gamification system, and intelligent user-tracking provides accurate information on campaign performance.

Tim Scoffham, CEO of WA.Technology, shared his enthusiasm for the launch, saying, “With WA.Affiliates, we’re forging a new path in the iGaming industry, creating a platform that not only meets but anticipates the needs of our partners. Our focus on innovation and customised solutions makes WA.Affiliates a key player in driving growth and profitability. We’re simplifying affiliate management to deliver tangible results, demonstrating our commitment to leading the way in digital excellence. At WA.Technology, we’re not just following the path to excellence – we’re creating it.”

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Affiliate Announcements

CasinoBeats Summit Set to Offer a Laser Focus on Marketing and Affiliate Strategies

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CasinoBeats Summit Set to Offer a Laser Focus on Marketing and Affiliate Strategies

 

Amidst the whirlwind of Google’s relentless updates and the intricate web of affiliate marketing, the upcoming CasinoBeats Summit, with a laser focus on SEO, AI content, and innovative traffic monetisation strategies, will offer marketers and affiliates a platform to tackle pressing inquiries head-on.

The ‘Marketing & Affiliation’ track will occur across both core days of the CasinoBeats Summit, 22nd – 23rd May, at the InterContinental Malta. The track will provide 4500 attendees with an in-depth exploration of key talking points shaping the worlds of marketing and affiliation.

Discussions will encompass leveraging innovative technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and immersive video content to engage new audiences, the power of alternative marketing channels, and gaining a competitive edge through SEO strategies.

The panel titled ‘Finding CRM harmony: Automation vs Experience’ will delve into the growing influence of customer relationship management (CRM) and the most effective strategies for its utilisation. Industry experts Matthias S. Kaiser (Head of CRM at Tipico), Alexandru Ababei (CRM Global Promotions Manager, Betsson) and Zurab Magalashvili (CMO, Adjarabet), will explore how CRM implementation can align with existing processes for player experiences and how CRM data can aid in proactive responsible gambling initiatives.

The conference session ‘Future-Proofing Marketing: Unveiling Trends Beyond the Hype’ will discuss the latest marketing trends and assess their long-term potential. Marketing experts Calvin Samut (Head of Brand, Socios), Cecilia López Boronat (Marketing Content Manager, Clobet Limited) and panel moderator Dennis Algreen (Marketing Director, SBC Events), will explore the longevity of these emerging trends, the danger of chasing trends and whether businesses should prioritise long-term brand stability over fleeting marketing fads.

The conference on the second day will commence with the panel ‘Monetizing Traffic Beyond Traditional Models’ focusing on the significance of alternative marketing channels such as Whatsapp and Telegram. Experts Silvia Almeida (Chief Media Officer, Clever Advertising), Leanne Muleba (Chief Operations Officer, Matching Visions), Eleonora Norbiato (Head of Acquisition, SKS365) and panel moderator Maria Tsnompilantze (Content Marketing Manager, SBC), will deliberate over how useful these alternative channels are, what metrics are particularly relevant for monetization purposes and whether the quality or quantity debate is over in the age of SEO.

The panel titled ‘The Uncharted Territory of Grey Hat SEO – Traffic, Cloaking, PBNs, Parasite SEO and More’ will delve into the nuances of SEO and PPC tactics, exploring the benefits of both Google-approved and grey hat strategies. Led by experts Vadim Aidlin (Chief Executive Officer, PushnotiAds) and Julia Logan (CEO & Founder, Zangoose Digital), discussions will encompass the use of PBNs, the impact of bot traffic, successful partnership SEO strategies and best practices regarding cloaking.

The first core day of the event will also feature a dedicated ‘SEO Trilogy’, hosted by Ivana Flynn alongside a host of industry experts as they tackle the continuously evolving SEO landscape.

The conference will also provide delegates with dedicated tracks covering key industry verticals such as casino, leadership, industry, and regulation and dedicated sessions for women in gaming. Moreover, attendees will be able to participate in innovative session formats such as hackathons, roundtables, and workshops.

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