Better Collective CFO Flemming Pedersen has stated that the publisher is switching its deals in the US from CPA to revenue share as part of its scalability focus to make its revenue share “less seasonal” and to take part in “overall growth” in the market.
The strategic changes to Better Collective’s US media relations came during the third quarter, where the group reported overall revenues of $61.72m, a 32% increase year-over-year (Q3 2021: $46.94m).
Better Collective US deals move to revenue share
Speaking on Better Collective’s Q3 earnings call, Pedersen walked through the publisher’s decision to move from CPA to revenue share deals in the US, drawing from experiences in Europe and Rest of World (ROW) markets.
Despite the change and the new estimate of $10.34m EBITDA from US operations since it has moved from two to four sportsbook deals, Better Collective has maintained its full-year targets for 2022.
The CFO said: “In September, we had one sportsbook that could have generated an additional $2m in CPA revenues. There is no doubt that the easy choice would have been to take the upfront CPA.
“However, following careful assessments, we are confident that this undertaking will be transformational in the long term by generating a constant consistent flow of recurring revenue.
“Based on our long-standing operations with revenue share in Europe and Rest of World, we are drawing on our experiences here, and are therefore confident that this move really is going to pay off and furthermore strengthen our relationship with sportsbooks.
“We remain very excited about the move to revenue share in the US as it will make our revenue share less seasonal, as well as enable us to take part in the overall growth in the market, rather than only relying on specific sports events and state launches.”
Better Collective believes its product is built to be better suited for revenue share than CPA agreements, and when asked to elaborate on that, CEO Jesper Søgaard noted that it comes down to the recurring customer on their websites and their app.
“We think that is a very important distinction with Better Collective in this market,” stated Søgaard.
“The products we build, the brands we own, they have a very big audience that is recurring, coming back to our site to get inspired on what to bet on, we have the Action app where you track your bet, so we are constantly in the mind of the users and ultimately the customers of the sportsbooks.
“Therefore, for us, we have value for the lifetime of the users, and we believe it’s great to be aligned with the sportsbooks. We tap into that lifetime value that we’re actually adding to the sportsbooks, so it’s absolutely right that our products are built for lifetime value, rather than just a one-time engagement with the users.”
As previously mentioned, Better Collective’s overall revenue for Q3 grew by 32% YoY to $61.72m despite a low season of sports across Europe, the US, Latin America, and ROW markets. Close to 45% of its revenue for the quarter came during September.
Specifically in the US, the publisher stated that the quarter had two slow months, followed by the launch of the NFL season in September, and NBA and NHL games being pushed to Q3 in 2021, but not in 2022.
For Q3, Better Collective’s US network – Action Network, VegasInsider, SportsHandle, and Scores&Odds – earned $17.41m, a 17% uptick YoY (2021: $14.91m) following the move to revenue share and a decrease in ad spend from sportsbooks.
The publisher noted that, excluding the move to revenue share, growth YoY in the US for the quarter would have been close to 30%.
Elsewhere, and despite the low season in sports, Europe and ROW grew by 38% thanks to operational performances in Latin America and media partnerships, reaching $44.34m (2021: $32.04m).
With the US changes, Better Collective highlighted that revenue share income was an all-time high at $25.84m with 73% YoY growth (2021: $14.91m), and its media network acquired 285,000 new depositing customers on revshare contracts, up 111% YoY.
Søgaard commented: “Q3 delivered strong growth for the Group, where we continued our good developments despite the turbulent macroeconomic environment.
“The most exciting trends for the quarter were the move to revenue share in the US, which has been fast-forwarded, and the group revenue share income continuing to break all-time highs.”
Better Collective’s Q3 EBITDA stood at $15.09m, up 7% YoY (2021: $14.04m), impacted by a low US network contribution. Operating profit (EBIT) came in at $9.96m. US operations EBITDA was $681,750.
During the quarter, the publisher launched strategic sports betting partnerships with three new publications – the Chicago Tribune, Bostom.com, and SPORT1.
Looking ahead, Pedersen stated that Better Collective is looking forward to the FIFA World Cup, and with other major sports globally entering peak season, it looks set to be an “action-packed” fourth quarter.
“Not surprisingly, we look forward to an action-packed Q4 with an extremely condensed soccer calendar heading into the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
“Additionally, other major sports are also in peak season. We are further satisfied with the development of our esports community FUTBIN, which is heavily skewed towards Q4 as the new FIFA game launched in September. The busy Q4 is also reflected in the month of October delivering revenues of €26m which is more than 50% growth YoY.”
Better Collective also noted that it will be hosting its first-ever Capital Markets Day next year on March 23.