2014 in Review: A Look at the Trends that Will Continue to Drive Industry Growth in 2015

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The last 12 months have been an incredibly exciting time for iGaming and they’ll pave the way for the industry’s continuing growth next year. At Income Access, we’ll be kicking off 2015 with the cream of the iGaming industry at the London Affiliate Conference and at ICE Totally Gaming. We’ll be exhibiting at both events, which run back-to-back from January 31st to February 5th, so make sure you visit our stands to catch up.

What we’ll be telling you about in London next month, including Income Access’ new developments and roadmaps, will be based on what we’ve learned over 2014. To understand where Income Access is going in 2015, we have to take a look back at the trends that impacted iGaming over the last 12 months.

Standout Trends: From Mobile to Online Horse-Racing Wagering

Mobile’s influence continued to grow at a phenomenal rate over 2014. Revenues for tablets and smart phones are set to surpass console gaming in the next year and crack $40 billion by 2017, according to recent research from Newzoo. Mobile iGaming’s also on the move – and that trend’s only going to gather pace in 2015 thanks to Apple’s new App Store rules allowing affiliates to once again offer in-app betting. Apple announced this exciting change in November.

At Income Access, we’ve kept up with the mobile trend by developing a mobile app-tracking solution. This adds a new level to our software, transforming it into a cross-channel tracking platform. Over the last few years, we’ve remained up-to-speed with the mobile trend by partnering with mobile-first brands like mFortune and mobile-focused ones such as Sky Bet, BetVictor, Gala, Probability and Nektan.

Mobile’s not the only thing in iGaming that’s been on the move in 2014, so have daily fantasy sports. Their popularity has boomed over the last 12 months, making them a great alternative to real-money iGaming in the US as the market slowly but surely develops.

Imagine this: over 30 million Americans take part in fantasy football leagues each year and spend approximately $11 billion, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association. With that level of popularity, daily fantasy sports brands can serve as a great alternative to real-money online casino and poker in the US as those verticals gradually emerge.

Talking of sports, we also partnered with a number of leading brands in the sports-betting vertical in 2014. These include ApolloBet, SeanieMac, ReelCrazy Sportsbook, Betbright and Sporting Index, an operator in the emerging sector of sports spread-betting.

These sports-betting partnerships all focus on the European market, but we’ve also partnered with leading US brands. Key among them have been operators in the rapidly growing online horse-racing wagering vertical, including BetAmerica, WatchandWager and DerbyJackpot. Like US-facing daily fantasy sports sites, these and other online horse-racing betting brands offer both operators and affiliates a great alternative to the US real-money iGaming market.

Structural Changes to Sustain Our Partners’ Growth

To better support our new partners and all those we’ve been partnered with for years, we made a few structural changes at Income Access in 2014. Last year saw the launch of three new companies under the umbrella of the Income Access Group.

The first of these companies, Income Access Technologies, covers our platform and technology products. Meanwhile, the Income Access Network is home to our affiliate network, and Access Digital Marketing is our full-service digital marketing agency. All three companies function under the aegis of the Income Access Group.

That wasn’t the only change at Income Access in 2014. The year also saw the continuing growth of our Social Gaming Network. A number of new US and European-facing social casino brands joined our pioneering network. Like daily fantasy sports and online horse-racing wagering, the Social Gaming Network and the social casino brands it hosts offers operators and affiliates alike an alternative to real-money iGaming in the US market.

That was 2014. Now what about the next 12 months? These are some of the trends and sectors that we’ll be watching in 2015:

  • Mobile Gaming. In particular, how operators, affiliates and tech firms like Income Access will work together to optimise acquisition for the channel. We’ll also be focusing on wearable technologies and their impact on iGaming.
  • Ad Targeting. With mobile starting to dominate desktop gaming, ad targeting’s importance is only set to grow. Targeting will need to focus on player profiles and when and where they are most likely to be engaged – no mean feat, when players will increasingly be playing on the move.
  • Social Gambling. In 2015, social casino and free-play poker brands are going to continue to converge with real-money iGaming, particularly when it comes to the millennial demographic.
  • Daily Fantasy Sports. Next year, this sector will continue to grow in the US and also in Europe, as new products are streamlined and tailored for the mobile market and also  to increase player engagement.
  • The continued evolution of marketing strategies in a digital ecosystem. The main marketing focuses for 2015 will be cross-channel optimisation, harmonising experiences across apps and desktop. There’s also likely to be greater transparency on player patterns and behaviour, which will help streamline acquisition.

At Income Access, we welcome you to join us in meeting these emerging trends head-on in 2015. Let’s discuss your strategy for the coming year.

Together, we’ll keep your brands ahead of the game in 2015!