Michael Pedersen, Chief Commercial Officer for Livespins, believes user experience will set platforms apart from one another in the gaming industry when it comes to the social streaming space.
Livespins is a social live-streaming platform that offers players a chance to bet behind the streamer they’re watching, adding another level of engagement and social interaction within a streamer community and on behalf of the operator.
Pedersen’s experience includes more than 14 years within the online gambling industry and over 20 years in commercial leadership across brands like Pokerstars and NetEnt.
Speaking to SBC Americas, the CCO explained why Livespins has made its debut in the US with WynnBet, how the firm enhances the online casino experience, and what lessons they have learned from video game streaming when it comes to tailoring its content.
SBC: Congratulations on your US debut with WynnBet. Why has Livespins decided to enter the market and partner with WynnBet?
Michael Pedersen: North America has the potential to become one of the largest legal online gambling markets in the world, and we believe Livespins has what it takes to socially charge the online casino experience for players across the US and Canada.
This is what we have done in other markets in Europe, and absolutely can replicate this success stateside where streaming and in particular slot streaming is hugely popular with demand riding a steep upward growth trajectory.
Why WynnBet? Because the operator is one of the biggest in the US and the team really understands the opportunity on the table and how the Livespins product can help them maximize it.
SBC: How does Livespins enhance the online casino experience?
MP: Livespins provides an entirely new way for players to experience online casino. Not only can they watch their favorite streamers play on chart-topping titles from the biggest providers in the industry, but they can also bet behind the action taking place across the reels in real-time. This creates a group bet and a shared player experience, but each player is able to select their own bet size and number of spins.
Social interaction is a core part of the experience, too, with players able to chat with the streamer and each other throughout. They can also add reactions and emojis. Livespins also allows players to engage with an operator’s brand ambassadors in new and exciting ways, which is a major upside for US operators such as WynnBet who have spent big in order to secure high-profile sports stars and celebrity brand ambassadors.
SBC: What regulatory challenges have you encountered entering the US regarding your live streaming platform and how have you overcome this?
MP: Each state has its own regulatory requirements which present a range of challenges to overcome. This can be done by taking a professional approach and having an open line of communication with regulators. We are currently in the process of securing a license in New Jersey and will then look to secure additional licenses as we continue to roll out across the US.
SBC: What separates Livespins from its competitors in the social live-streaming platform space?
MP: There really is no other product like Livespins that is actually live in the market having launched with an online casino brand, CasinoFriday, earlier this year. Another major differentiator is our latency or lack-there-of.
One of the key breakthroughs we have made is being able to deliver sub-second latency on our video stream – this is something that not even Twitch has been able to achieve. This allows for near-instant player communication with the streamer, and it also forms the foundation of our bet behind system on a spin-by-spin level.
What’s more, we have partnered with some of the most in-demand slot studios in the market, including Yggdrasil Gaming, Playson, and iSoftBet, so that our streamers have the widest range of quality content to use during their broadcasts to players.
SBC: Video game streaming has grown in popularity in the US, no more so than over the last 24 months. What lessons have you learned from your video game counterpart when tailoring your content to the US?
MP: Ultimately, it comes down to delivering a fantastic user experience. That is why we have focused on developing a highly engaging, sub-second latency product and also ensuring the UX of our product is incredibly intuitive for players and streamers.
What we wanted to do with Livespins was take the streaming experience to the next level by allowing viewers to get directly involved with the action, something that is not currently available with video game streaming – at least not in a meaningful way that adds value to the viewer’s experience.
Our bet behind system has allowed us to do this and is what sets Livespins aside from other slot streaming products in the market, but also the video game streaming platforms that validated our belief that there is a huge appetite for slot streaming content.
SBC: Is there room for Livespins to grow across the US and into Canada? What’s next for the brand?
MP: Absolutely. We have ambitious expansion plans across the US and Canada, with more operator partnerships in the pipeline. We also have some incredible product updates and releases on the roadmap, which will take the player experience to the next level.
It is still very early days for online social slot streaming, but as a pioneer in the space, we believe we are best placed to capitalize on the huge potential on the table while also helping operators and game developers get in on the action, too.