Robin Reed, CEO of HappyHour.io, took the stage at the iGaming NEXT summit in Malta in October 2021 to promote a new product created to enhance the online casino experience. Livespins by HappyHour aims to disrupt the online casino industry. But how? What’s so groundbreaking about the Livespins tool that hasn’t been invented yet?
This industry is among those at the forefront of innovation. Content developers are constantly devising new games, new solutions to make the online casino world more appealing to players. But, it seems like they’ve been continually overlooking one crucial thing. The social element of casino experience. And this is precisely what a team at HappyHour realized and decided to change. To understand the motivation and inspiration for creating a new product, we need to look back into history first.
How does Livespins feature work?
Simple. The look & feel is similar to the Twitch experience, with one significant difference. Alongside the main screen where you can watch the action and a live chat, Livespins allows you to join in and play together with a streamer and the group. The online live casino that implements Livespins will show live streamers and the number of players participating in the action. For instance, if you see that over 100 people have gathered in the room, something cool must be going on there. You can join in immediately to watch the live session and place your own bets.
This is the main novelty Livespins delivers. Instead of a one-way experience of watching, now you can participate and play together with your favorite streamer. You can bet behind the streamer in real-time, meaning you can set your stake and number of spins live. You’re playing with your own money, and the streamers are playing with theirs.
Hence, this is not a shared pool. If the streamer wins, you win too. If he loses, you lose too. You can see the streamer’s bets and winnings, how much you won, and how the whole group is doing. You can also chat and share emojis with the streamer and other players. Fun fact – you can even bet against someone from the group and bet together in a tournament form. So, to conclude, hundreds of players can gather and bet behind the streamer simultaneously. And create some of the most impressive wins ever. The team behind Livespins even plans to implement animated gifs to delight the players. It’s worth noting that the Livespins tool complies with responsible gambling rules.
“This is gonna change the casino streams”
Finally, the entire session will be recorded, allowing you to share it on social media. If a big win happens, the operator can share the video online to promote both the brand and the game. The curated content allows casino operators to reduce marketing costs and CPA (cost per acquisition). The feature boosts engagement, customer retention, enables operators to reach broader demographics, and motivates passive players to become active and join the fun.
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Casinos are inherently social
The very nature of the casino is already “hidden” within its name. The origin of the term implies social gatherings and community activities. Casino got its name from the Italian word “casa” (a small house), where people gathered to sing along, dance, and gamble. Then, we have saloons, where travellers got together to drink, dance, sing, have a few fights here and there, and gamble.
Therefore, the social aspect of the casino exists from the very beginning. Fast-forwarding to today, we find casinos as one of the most potent cultural phenomena in the world. Land-based venues, like those in the world-famous capital of gambling, Las Vegas, have cemented the social concept of casino experience. The social element is what makes casinos so attractive. For most people, visiting a casino is a synonym for playing various casino games with other people and having a fun night out with friends. And if you win, it’s even better.
However, the rise of the Internet introduced online casinos, a fun way to play games from the comfort of our homes. Then, mobile devices changed the game once more. They enable us to access our favourite casino games 24/7, wherever, and whenever we want. Online casinos bring significant benefits to players. They are convenient and cheaper as they allow you to skip the part of getting dressed and going out to a brick-and-mortar venue. Still, one thing is missing from this “perfect formula.”
Livespins are tested on a regular basis. We can see that the players who participated in the tests are super enthusiastic. Whether it will eventually become as popular as live casino games? That’s hard to say. But given the good response from testing, it will certainly provide a positive innovation in the world of online gambling.
Prepare for digitally native generations
We’re returning to a story about the Livespins tool, which Robin Reed introduced at the iGaming NEXT in October 2021. First, he reminded us that online casinos embraced almost all concepts already invented by land-based casinos. Jackpots, tournaments, and games themselves have been successfully translated into an online world. However, the online gaming industry skipped one of the essential casino “spices” – social interaction. In other words, online casinos seem to be failing to adapt the land-based experience to new, online factors.
“Funny to join but also great to just watch”
He then presented a few key data points the iGaming industry needs to become aware of as soon as possible if it wants to keep progressing. The worldwide gambling industry is accelerating. The forecasts predict that the online casino sector will become a $150bn industry in the next few years, accounting for 30% of the overall global gaming spend. This is a lot of market share up for grabs. But, who’s going to get that money and how to ensure this market growth? The answer lies in a few critical online factors the iGaming sector needs to pay attention to.
First, Generation Z, also known as zoomers, is predicted to overtake the economy in 2029. It means that this generation will have the majority of purchasing power from 2029. In other words, everyone needs to know the type of customers they’re going to deal with soon. At the moment, online gambling is a somewhat lonely activity. You’re spending the time in front of various screens rolling, dealing, spinning – but alone. Live dealer games are closest to the land-based gaming experience. And such a concept needs to be enhanced and applied across other segments too. Why? Because Gen Z is a digitally native generation that doesn’t know life without social media. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok are integral parts of their everyday lives. And what are the integral parts of social media? Interaction. Communication. Sharing.
One of the latest trends coming from China is live shopping. People and celebrities present products via live streaming, and people are buying goods in real-time. One-third of the entire e-commerce in China is now happening through live shopping. More than 50% of 16-24 years old search for brands on social media, not on search engines. So, social media is overtaking search engines. We also need to consider the way we consume content nowadays. We spend our time online almost 7 hours a day, of which more than 3 hours we consume streamed content and more than 2 hours we use social networks. It means that offline and online worlds are converging. Finally, more than 96% of the entire digital content we consume is on our smartphones, smartwatches, and various streaming devices.
Then we have Twitch, an interactive live streaming service owned by Amazon that is extremely popular. And the very nature of this platform explains why the iGaming industry needs to adapt and do it quickly. Twitch has millions of daily visitors and millions of streamers that get together live each day to interact, chat, and have fun together. And this is the key: real-time interaction between people during entertaining activities. Livespins feature from HappyHour delivers just that – social transformation of the online gaming environment.
The social transformation of online casinos
One of the largest categories on Twitch is slots, ranked 17th, with more than 26 million hours of slot content streamed in September 2021. Twitch and casino streamers are clearly attracting a massive audience. But, this is a one-way interaction, as you can only watch the streamer play the game, but you can’t participate. Livespins will change this.
The new feature combines the popularity of streamers and live streaming with regular casino play to create communities that allow gamers to bet and have interactions in real-time. Livespins intends to socially change the iGaming space using shared experiences while creating a new category of online casino gameplay. It unites suppliers, operators and content creators in delivering a brand new disruptive product. Livespins is a tool that introduces the social play, making online engagement and interaction seamless and enjoyable.
Livespins by HappyHour should help casino brands become more appealing and cool to new users who live online. To sum it up, the Livespins tool can become a true gamechanger. Instead of just watching the streamers, it enables gamers to play, interact and become part of the community. At the same time, operators can improve retention and conversion rates, content providers can get more exposure, and streamers can grow the number of followers. A win-win solution for everyone.