Stanislav Silin, CEO for sportsbook software and services provider Altenar, mentioned sportsbook widgets as a new feature for its sportsbook in a new video series “Coffee Break with Altenar”, which was launched on social media a couple of weeks ago.
SBC: In one of the first episodes (see video embed above), you introduced a new product addition for Altenar – sportsbook widgets; can you tell us more about this?
SS: The idea started from discussions with Trustly, who wanted to bring about the idea of In-banner Pay N Play for the Swedish market.
This is a special form of a widget which extends betting outside of where the sportsbook is published and delivers betting content to the player even before they have become a player with you.
We wanted to extrapolate this idea to other pieces of the content and build a full suite of such widgets. So far, we have created four or five different widgets and we’ve launched with two customers. We’re getting some feedback on technological fine-tuning that is compelling us to make some changes to further the product.
We are probably not the first to do it, but we are doing it because the customers want it, we believe it works and it is a good technological evolution for our own architecture.
SBC: So this is something you develop for your clients, who can then offer this to their own sportsbook affiliates?
SS: It can be for affiliates if they want to package it as a banner, but it could also be to cross-sell areas within their own sites.
Most of our customers don’t just offer a sportsbook, they have a casino too. So, for example, you might take a pure casino player and convert him into a sportsbook player by offering something a casino player would understand but within the casino pages of the site.
And that’s exactly what the two customers so far are doing, but for more than two sites by the way. They’re offering the event widget, highlights, upcoming matches – there are different types and we plan to expand this library.
SBC: Are the design of these widgets prescribed, or can the appearance be modified?
SS: The operator has the ability to manipulate the widget. So it’s not just about providing a smaller part of the Altenar sportsbook client, there is also the option to customise a little bit more with their own development resources. It gives them additional flexibility.
If our widgets need to support different layouts which cannot be achieved through pure style manipulation, that’s where we have to collect this feedback from operators. It’s a product that needs to evolve – it won’t be a one-off delivery and then everyone uses it.
SBC: Why is the concept so appealing to operators?
SS: The idea of detaching sportsbook content and offering it as standalone widgets is appealing because it allows the operator to mix sports content with other content and attract audiences in different ways in which they didn’t have the tools to do so before.
SBC: What sort of customers do you expect to pick this up?
SS: There will be customers who want to design their customer experience in such a way they may want to control the way sportsbook content is presented in a very granular way. But if they start putting this together from their side with the data APIs, it is a more laborious and complicated route to support.
On the other hand, if we offer pieces of the sportsbook that are functional and deliver the specific behaviour they’re meant to do, that’s a better approach because those are the pieces the rest of the sportsbook client is actually built on.
If the operator has to build it from their side just using our data APIs that becomes a serious undertaking. Why don’t we avoid that by giving the operator what he wants in terms of customisation ability? All the ready made pieces could be customised to their needs.
SS: And just finally, is it possible – or even desirable – to construct the whole sports betting experience through these widgets?
SS: If we have a full set of widgets that constitute a full sportsbook, only then might it be possible for the operator to build the entire user experience using widgets alone because then they get the entire journey for the punter. We don’t have all elements of widgets yet, but it is a potentially desirable outcome.