Andreas Fischer, Co-Founder and Owner at Playtime-Forum, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
With over 15 years of experience under his belt, Andreas and his partner at PlaytimeNetwork are propelling their project forward by digging in and perfecting the business every day - follow their story below.
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
We started in 2008 with a player for player project named playtime-forum.info which within 12 months turned into a full-time job.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
From a few single projects an independent network developed in which the focus is on players and other webmasters/affiliates to whom we offer a German-language platform.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
Our focus is on the German-speaking market, with the German area being the main focus.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t? Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
As mentioned above, we offer a unique German-speaking platform for players and affiliates. We do not only promote casinos, but we also offer direct help with player problems. Other webmasters/affiliates can also exchange ideas or discuss relevant things here.
Are you concerned by the impact on the affiliate sector from shifting regulatory environments? (In particular UKGC, Sweden’s Spelinspektionen, and Germany’s 2020 State Treaty on Gaming Regulation)
The affiliate area in the gaming industry is becoming more and more difficult, not only because of the laws but also because some affiliate programs can no longer be trusted.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your traffic? Are you focusing on SEO? PPC? Any other traffic sources?
We have been generating 100% organic traffic since the beginning, which in the long run and with today's rapid SEO fluctuations is still the best for facing the competition in the long term.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
In a time when more and more large companies are making life difficult for smaller affiliates, selling everything is worth considering.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
We see major weaknesses in affiliate managers and their teams in particular, as employees very often come from outside areas and have no idea about affiliates or website operators. More transparency and honesty with fair conditions is required.
Most of the programs/partners are only interested in knowing which good positions they can have on your pages and what traffic you generate.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
As already mentioned, the employees are mostly unfamiliar with the topic and put their customers/partners under pressure with inactivity clauses, deal cuts, etc.
This often makes a sensible cooperation impossible.
Openness and honesty are 2 things a manager should bring.
But in order to implement this, sometimes the discrepancy already takes place between the owner, responsible management, and his employees to follow certain things.
Only a responsible management and fair intention of owner can be the future in this business.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
With a 7-day week job, that's a funny question!
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
With today's knowledge, we would no longer deal with the topic of iGaming or affiliate business.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
The biggest nightmare for us was when Novomatic left the German market and we lost 70% of our traffic over night!
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
There will always be good and bad partners, but ultimately the market and the conditions determine who you work with or not. One of our favourite operators to work with is Betzest.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
We think that is very important to attend iGaming events, because you can meet in-person your existent or new partners, straighten the relationships, and conclude many new deals.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
We have never been to a Sigma event, but we will certainly be delighted to attend next SiGMA conference in Malta between 16-18 February 2021.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies!
It all started with an interest in online gaming in 2005. As an initial member of a player forum, I became a moderator for several years. A first weekend meeting/workshop took place during this time with 5 other known affiliates, which was decisive for the further course.
My partner and I met by chance because of our individual activities. From this acquaintance, our respective experience and knowledge, at some point we desired to start our own project. We implemented it in 2008 and through it we gained further experience.
During this time there have been ups and downs and we have suffered painful losses over the years due to conditions and licensing decisions. However, we also made nice acquaintances and met responsible managers; but only a handful of them are left. A few meetings and conferences will always be fondly remembered.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
You are always at home where you feel comfortable or just live. Therefore, I can’t name a specific city.
Get to know other great affiliates, responsible for killer traffic!Click the link to read more insights from affiliates.
Following the successful launch of SiGMA Europe (Malta) and SiGMA Asia (Manila), we’re now launching the inaugural SiGMA AMERICAS, covering all three major timezones. The inaugural edition is set for September 22-24, 2020 with a virtual summit focusing on two themes: SiGMA AMERICAS for the Gaming industry and AIBC AMERICAS for the Emerging Tech industry. We wanted to provide fresh content, to help you navigate through these turbulent times. If you’re exploring Americas as a new frontier or wondering which tech solutions to embrace, we've got you covered: tune in on September 22-24, 2020.