"Being an affiliate is a lifestyle" - Pontus Magnusson

Pontus Magnusson, CEO of Media Mirror Ltd, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam

Pontus Magnusson of Benny Casino, Media Mirror Ltd, focuses on SEO to rank on good keywords and his traffic is based on quality over quantity - follow his story below.

Pontus Magnusson MediaMirror BennyCasinoHow did your affiliate business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?

I started my career as a poker player, but soon turned my eyes on affiliation in order to get a passive earning instead of having a volatile income. Yes, iGaming is something I know really well, so that’s where my focus is at.

How did you first get into the affiliate space? And, were you always focused on the Gaming space?

As mentioned earlier, I got into affiliation because of poker, but these days I’m also focused on casino, etc.

How is your company structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?

The company is built from scratch in order to simplify each day for me as an affiliate, I have one panel where I can follow all stats instead of having to login to each Backoffice. It makes everything more efficient so that I can put my mind on doing other things, for example SEO.

What can operators do to increase support with affiliates?

I’m sure that I’m speaking for more affiliates when I say that it would be great if there was an easier way to find contact details of affiliate managers. As soon as affiliate managers quit their job, one can have a hard time to find out who one’s new affiliate manager is.

How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?

There are so many markets out there that haven’t been exploited yet. If one wants to be unique, then one should put more energy in getting traffic from other sources instead of competing with everyone else.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?

As most other affiliates, I started off with Northern Europe, but the last couple of years, I’ve started looking into more unique markets. There is potential in the emerging markets for sure, just have a look at Japan and India.

What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique?

If you rank on good keywords, you’ll get better commission. I’m trying to have quality over quantity.

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?

I haven’t considered it, but as with most other things, it would be possible if I got the right price.

Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?

The knowledge of creating and converting traffic and last but not least, get the right value of your leads.

What sets you apart from other affiliates?

I would say that I’m good at being a few steps ahead and knowing what’s coming and not. My years as a professional poker player made me think about what the next step would be, before it happened.

How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?

I would say that it’s a really big part of my day-to-day. As mentioned earlier, most of my work is made easier through technology, but it also makes some days harder since you’re trying to figure out the logic behind some things, for example Google.

Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2020 and beyond?

I think technologies that optimise performance are going to start showing up for affiliates more and more, but also similar technologies for casinos in order to minimise their spend. Especially now when regulations are taking their fair share of the profit.

Is the grass greener on the other side - have you considered going down the operator route?

I’ve actually tried it, but I would never go down that way now if I didn’t have a really unique way to recruit customers. Life as an affiliate might not be that glamorous, but it’s way less of a headache on a daily basis.

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Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority in 2020, and why?

I think that some Asian and LatAm countries will start taking more and more focus from the European affiliates.

How has the fragmentation of regulated markets affected your business? UKGC, Swedish regulator and now also the German regulator is mulling regulating this space.

Lower customer value, less bonuses, and less sites never made any affiliate happy.

How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?

It’s getting there, but as with all young markets, it’s hard to find the right sites to trust.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?

SEO for one, but also which markets one should put in the big amount of work.

What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?

Regulated markets where they don’t seem to have any logic behind the decisions.

What are the main challenges for the sector in 2020?

To rank high when Google are benefiting operators’ rankings and their own ads, but also to survive changes and regulations.

What are your predictions for the future of the sector?

I think that operators will take over more of the rankings but affiliates will always find ways to recruit customers.

How do you manage relationships with multiple operators?

Skype and email. Meetings during affiliate conferences is always a good way to catch up, even If just for a short lunch or coffee.

What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?

They are a great place to meet in person with the ones you talk to on a daily basis, but also to create a deeper understanding and trust. It would be good to highlight more the GEOs the operators are working in, in order to get the right affiliates interested in them.

Pontus Magnusson at SiGMA MaltaHave you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas - which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting?

Yes, I’ve been there every year since it started and will keep on going to the events.

Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies!

I’m spending all of my time doing what I love. Affiliation gives me the freedom to do so. I like to learn new things and to gather knowledge. This can be made while traveling; hence why I like to go to different conferences in the world and learn more about the markets, etc. Being an affiliate is a lifestyle, so even when I’m not officially working, I meet up with people in the industry.

What’s on your must-read list right now? Shōgun the 1975 novel by James Clavell.

Which quote do you live your life by? Life is what you make it.

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SiGMA Europe:

Following the UK’s December 2020 release of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, SiGMA Group will move its February event to April. SiGMA Europe, which will be based in Malta, will now run from 13-15 April, 2021.

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