Metric Gaming Head of Product Martin Clarke discusses the current issues surrounding innovation and how the industry’s existing technology may be a roadblock to creativity, especially for dynamic live betting markets.
SBC: The gambling industry has often been criticised for being too homogeneous, with the only competition on the amount of money given to players via bonuses. Why is there a lack of differentiation in the space?
Martin Clarke: Two words: Legacy Technology.
A fair criticism levelled at the iGaming industry is that it was slow to embrace and invest in digital. By the time that epiphany finally manifested, the arena of battle quickly shifted to mobile and that’s caught almost everyone out.
As a result, leading technology stacks employed across the industry were developed in the 20th century and are creaking under the pressure of trying to deal with and solve 21st century problems.
You don’t need to be an industry guru to realise most brands aren’t set up for a product war that requires agile product iteration in response to customer feedback.
A great example of this is the latest soccer innovation to be adopted across the industry: Create-A-Bet. Most brands have had to accept major compromises, like not being available in-play or in some cases a manual implementation. This has been the case for well over a year now.
No brand would choose to go live with such a sub-standard execution but the technologies they and their suppliers use don’t allow them to be agile and adapt their products to customer feedback nimbly.
SBC: So how is Metric approaching this issue, given the extent it is affecting most of the industry?
MC: Unlike most systems available on the market, Metric’s system was designed and developed in the 21st century. It is built to solve the competing pressures of operators’ scale-driven international consolidation running counter trend to growing international regulatory divergence.
Almost every technology stack available was designed before this reality created the need for materially different products in different countries to be compliant and viable.
As a few high profile and costly examples have proven recently, trying to shoehorn a generic one size fits no one product into every jurisdiction no longer works.
To offer truly localised propositions that are compliant, viable and cater for cultural nuances and realities your technology needs to be dynamic and agile. That’s how Metric has been able to develop products that are demonstrably better than the market leading implementations across multiple disciplines.
SBC: So one of your latest developments using this technology is Multi-Event SuperLive – what does that provide?
MC: Multi-Event SuperLive is a standalone bolt-on product providing brand new, goals-based betting opportunities in-play.
Instead of betting on what will happen next in just one match, consumers can now bet on what will happen next across the matches they’ve selected.
The product allows customers to bet on things they already talk about with their friends, offering bets like which player will score next, which match will see the next goal or how many goals will be scored in total across the matches.
With over 100,000 matches covered annually from across the world, Multi-Event SuperLive is a unique opportunity to upgrade existing soccer products with a top quality ‘always-on’ proposition.
SBC: So a multi-game bet, rather than a multi-bet? Who do you think this will appeal to?
MC: The product is a perfect fit for two types of operators:
Any sportsbook operator for which soccer is a key revenue driver will know how hard it is to find product innovations that aren’t ‘gimmicky’ and move the needle. Multi-Event SuperLive provides the product variation that consumers demand, as well as a meaningful opportunity for operators to boost competitiveness and revenues on a key product in a market saturated by cookie-cutter solutions.
Casino operators active in territories where soccer is the dominant betting sport will see their traffic drop off a cliff during soccer activity, particularly during high-profile events. Offered through an iFrame, Multi-Event SuperLive can embed seamlessly as a stand-alone widget, offering compelling betting opportunities in-play without the need for customers to navigate away from the casino screen.
SBC: Why do you believe this will be attractive to the modern-day sportsbook customer?
MC: Finally allowing punters to bet on which team will score next in the Champions League, or how many goals will be scored across the afternoon’s Premier League fixtures, fits modern-day habits of sports bettors who use and follow livescore websites or watch TV shows like Sky’s Soccer Saturday, BBC’s Final Score & BT’s Sport Score.
As industry pioneers of SuperLive, quickly determined markets that allow customers to predict what will happen next in a match, Metric looked at the data from customers to optimise the product line.
When we analysed the data and spoke with our partners it was clear there is an untapped demand for more goals-based betting opportunities that reflect the conversations consumers are having.
There is a real lack of material differentiation in the soccer space across the industry and Multi-Event SuperLive is a non-gimmicky opportunity for forward looking brands to keep their offering fresh and interesting to their base.
SBC: What’s next on the roadmap for Metric?
MC: To keep our suite of market leading in-house products ahead of the competition we’re always adding bits and pieces to them and we’ve got some eagerly anticipated additions planned for our Soccer, Racing, Golf, SuperLive and Create-A-Bet products for the back end of this year.
Excitingly, Metric also recently secured its first complete sportsbook customer which will go live in Mexico in Q4 2019. Attracted by Metric’s unique customisation capabilities, we are working on more platform features to further enable customers to leapfrog their competition through superior product.