“Have focus and be patient. Nowadays, it will take time to get the rankings. Build something that you can be proud of and don’t lose faith too fast.” We interviewed Mathias Olsson, Owner of oddsonline.se and freespins365.co.uk.
Hello Mathias, how are you?
Hi Marius! I’m just fine. Summer has arrived here in Sweden making the weather a bit better.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
I played poker and had an interest in HTML (this was way back, early 2004) and I combined these interests as I started our first site, spelapoker.se. After a couple of months, I noticed one could earn some money and after that, things escalated. In 2007 we changed the name of the company at the same time that two other guys came in as partners.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
We have two offices, the head office in Karlskrona (in the southeast part of Sweden) and the other in Stockholm. We are a total of 8 people in the offices and we also have several freelancers on the roster.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
We saw something similar starting during the early years of the poker boom. Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act made a stall on that and with Black Friday, it totally died. We weren’t totally surprised when the M&A’s started but we didn’t think it would escalate that quickly. At the same time, I think what we see is a natural development of a young business.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
We have been approached a lot of times during the years, especially during the height of poker. We have always decided not to take that route, especially not on a solo project.
Now we have a small stake at a fairly new casino. It’s interesting to see the “other” side of the industry.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
We are currently in a project where we do a big retake on much of our content. In the same time, we are redoing a some of the designs. We will continue focusing on making good content and make the sites more and more mobile friendly. Other than that, we might have some more up our sleeves.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
We have always had a focus on the Swedish market. We try out things in different parts of the world and have some exciting plans.
How do you find Scandinavian market and competition?
It’s though and it’s one of the hardest markets to succeed at in the world when comes to iGaming. But if you make it, the player value is very high.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
You must constantly be updated about the recent news regarding Google’s new updates. Normally it’s just minor changes and now we haven’t had any real issues for some years.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
As I mentioned we have some new designs, casinosnack.com has already been updated for example, rolling out and one of our biggest site will get a big update. It’s needed but at the same time really scaring. You never know what the big G will think about an update.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your site?
We will continue adding good information and value to our visitors. For example, at oddsonline.se we have a lot of data with the best odds comparison in Sweden, news, updates and game tips.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
We continue to see more and more visitors using the mobiles instead of desktop versions. It will challenge you to come up with new ideas and solutions and therefore get a better product in the end. The biggest challenge is to make a large amount of data presented in a way that mobile users can get a good overview and useful information.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
It will be harder and harder to keep up with the bigger competitors. Companies like Raketech, Catena and XL Media have a lot of resources and they are moving fast. But we have a good team and will try to do our best to continue to make an impact.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Have focus and be patient. Nowadays, it will take time to get the rankings. Build something that you can be proud of and don’t lose faith too fast. Also, don’t think this is a simple way to get rich fast, you must put down a lot of hours to succeed.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
I play occasionally, both online and offline when I’m in Vegas. If I won 1 million euro I would take the family on a nice vacation and then probably invest the rest.
Are you ready for Affiliate Grand Slam Bucharest and SiGMA17?
It will be my first-time visiting Bucharest and it will be a good opportunity to meet up with old friends and acquire new ones at the same time.
We are also already looking forward to this year’s Sigma and it will be interesting to see the new venue.
|Relive the highlights and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.
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