Klas Winberg is the Chief Commercial Officer at Catena Media and proud father of two. We have managed to catch Klas to pick his brain about what makes Catena Media be Catena Media.
EEGReport Magazine: Hi Klas, tell us a bit about yourself, how did you venture into the gaming industry and what are your key activities within the niche?
Klas: I’m a proud father of two with very stereotypical interests such as travelling, sports and good company. I ventured into this industry in 2004 when a good friend of mine recruited me into Expekt.com. This was back in the days when Expekt.com was enjoying market shares of probably around 60% of the Nordic market and poker was the new black. My role, however, was Head of PR and I started to feel I wanted to move into a clear marketing role. Betfair was able to provide me with that and I had seven great years with Betfair. Before coming to Catena Media I was Head of Marketing at a new brand called Luck.com.
EEGReport Magazine: In the past you’ve also worked for Expekt.com as Head of PR, and for Betfair as well! What were the main elements/take homes that you’ve gained at these companies?
Klas: Having been on the operator side for 12 years before coming over to the affiliate side is a great benefit for me as I understand how the operators reason and plan around their affiliate strategies. I think too many times people with affiliate-only experience see the relationship as a zero sum game with only one winner whereas I always try to bring a win-win perspective to the table.
EEGReport Magazine: How did you make the transition to Catena Media?!
Klas: It all started with a meeting with our CEO, Robert Andersson. I was not at all convinced that this challenge would be something that would interest me until I met with Robert. It was quickly clear to me that this was a company with the ambition to change how the affiliate industry works. Once up and running with Catena it did not take long to see what a great experience I had signed up for even though it is not always easy to keep up with the giant strides we keep taking, but that is what always keeps you on your toes.
EEGReport Magazine: In the past year you’ve been really strengthening your market positions, with a few very good acquisitions, like: Casino UK (casinouk.com), SBAT, AskGamblers, but also Playnj.com and Uspoker.com ! Do you have any new acquisitions planned?
Klas: It is no secret that we will keep looking at acquisitions aggressively. It is a central part of our strategy and as long as there remains to be interesting objects out there to buy we will consider them. The coming years will see a substantial consolidation on the iGaming affiliate market, faster than it has happened among the operators.
EEGReport Magazine: It’s clear that you’ve really strengthen your position on the UK an US market, do you have any new markets insight, if yes what would be the main reason to enter those markets?
Klas: I believe that the acquisitions we do in the coming year will primarily be on markets we are currently active on rather than to get into additional markets. We need to consolidate our positions and not be a small operator on very many markets. When we think diversification it is more out of a product perspective.
EEGReport Magazine: It seems like you also would like to venture more deeper into the esports, daily fantasy sports and sports betting sectors/verticals!?!
Klas: With the acquisition of Spelbloggare.se and SBAT we have clearly shown our ambition to grow into the sports betting sector. We are very excited about expanding our product portfolio and will look to do so even further. We want to get to a place where a portfolio operator does not have to turn to five different affiliates in order to cover sports and casino in Sweden, UK and Norway but that we can provide substantial traffic in all of those boxes. In terms of e-sport and daily fantasy sports, suffice to say we are following the development closely. I think fantasy sports have yet to prove that it can be properly monetized before it becomes really interesting.
EEGReport Magazine: Does this mean that you’re really betting on the explosion of esports and daily fantasy sports in the near future?
Klas: For strategic reasons I would not like to comment on this right now.
EEGReport Magazine: With the acquisition of SBAT(UK-based social media sports news, betting and tips website) you’ve strengthen and diversified your position within Paid media by adding social media advertising too. How do you see the future is it gonna be “viral/organic” or “paid”?
Klas: I think the long game is organic. That is where our strength and background are and it is where we have an upper hand on the competition through expertise required over several years. SBAT does do paid but they also have a very good position to grow organically. Having said that I think paid may resurface in different shapes as in building brands out of our sites.
EEGReport Magazine: With a new president in the US, how do you see that market evolving…?
Klas: I think it is anyone’s guess really. I am not even sure that Trump himself has given it a proper thought yet. One fact is that he is the first US president ever to own a casino. That could indicate a protection of his positions on that market. In general, however, I think he will be open to look into the changes proposed by the American Gaming Association who are arguing for fewer regulations and the legalization of sports betting.
EEGReport Magazine: Are there any new trends that we should look out for? In which direction do you think that the European and UK markets are heading?
Klas: Unfortunately, the European markets are out of a gambling perspective becoming more isolationists in my opinion. The good news is that local licenses are to be gained in more and more countries, moving the operator’s presence from grey to white. There will be a period of adjustment between the expectations and demands from the local legislators and the commercial realities of the operators, but I think in the long run these interest will converge in a agreeable position that can work for all.
EEGReport Magazine: Next to the acquisitions, you’ve also been doing some heavy recruitment. Do you plan to open new offices or you’re just really strengthening your position?
Klas: We are not looking to add more offices for the sake of adding more offices. In reality if it was feasible to have everyone sitting in one location that is what we would have opted for. We just happen to have acquired very talented people in different locations and the success of these sites rests on the fact that they are present on those locations. But indeed, we do have a lot of open positions so we are nowhere near fully staffed meaning that we are very grateful for the interest of talented people looking for a new challenge in a very expansive and exciting company.
EEGReport Magazine: Thanks for your time, and we’d like to wish Catena Media good luck for the iGB Affiliate Awards!!!
Klas: Many thanks! We are very much looking forward to it.
This interview appeared first on EEGReport Magazine.
We’ve been contacted by Dirk Pillow, who has been working in the iGaming Industry since 2013 as a SportsBook Trader, and currently following an academic course (Higher Diploma in Marketing and Sales Management) at The University of Malta.
As part of his dissertation, he needs to carry out some tests and would greatly appreciate if you could spare 5 minutes of your precious time to fill in and complete this survey. It will not take any longer, wanna bet on it 😉
The results of the survey will give Dirk and also to all of us a better understanding of the affiliates perception towards Online Gambling Brands and the decision process you go through when selecting an affiliate program.
Your participation in the survey is completely voluntary and all of your responses will be kept confidential.
Exclusive Interview with Christoph C. Cemper Founder & CEO of LinkResearchTools and Link Detox
We are very honored to have had the chance to interview one of the most well know Link Building Experts and SEO gurus Christoph C. Cemper. Christoph is Founder & CEO of LinkResearchTools and Link Detox.
GAV: First of all thanks for taking the time for the interview Christoph, we know you must be busy! Please be so kind and introduce yourself in one sentence!
Christoph C. Cemper: I’m an online marketing enthusiast, CEO, and Founder of LinkResearchTools and Link Detox doing links and SEO since 2003.
GAV: Could you fill out the short form below so our readers can imagine your profile?
Name: Christoph C. Cemper
Living in: Vienna
Favorite Food: Vietnamese
Must Read Book: The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
GAV: Tell us a bit about yourself, we want to know who Christoph Cemper is, the main person behind LinkResearchTools (LRT) and Link Detox. Where were you born? What was your first experience with the SEO world?
Christoph C. Cemper: I was born in Vienna and started a marketing blog in 2004. I started getting requests from people who wanted to have a link from my blog. They were ready to pay for it. That was the point when I started doing SEO and link building. I built links for years, then built more links, and managed a ton of affiliate sites since 2004.
In 2009, I decided to switch from the link building agency business to a SaaS business. And that’s the point when LinkResearchTools (LRT) was born.
GAV: We would like to know how you got started with LRT, what was the main idea/inspiration and how was the developing process?
Christoph C. Cemper: The LinkResearchTools (LRT) and Link Detox (DTOX) projects started in February 2009 at the VIP conference in SEO de Janeiro, and I can honestly say that what happened in Rio changed my business life. While sitting around in the conference venue, I discussed all sorts of SEO tricks, link pyramids, and other things with the other attendees and I showed them my own “Link Research Tool” on my notebook. This was a tool built by two part-time developers as an internal tool to help me and my team of link builders.
The tool wasn’t even close to what we have today. But the guys were all excited and couldn’t stop looking at the link data with me. They all said: “Wow, you should build a product, I would like to buy it!”
And that’s what I did.
GAV: After the first Google Penguin Update back in 2012 you launched Link Detox, a backlink audit and link risk management software, tell us about it!
Christoph C. Cemper: That’s right. Soon after Google’s first Penguin update, I created the solution for the penalties that came with Google’s algorithmic change. Link Detox soon became the industry standard for link audit and link risk management. Thousands of webmasters used it to recover their rankings. SEOs all around the world still use it to protect their websites. The great thing about Link Detox is that it works for both algorithmic penalties and Manual Actions for unnatural links pointing to your website. We’ve seen websites recover in as little as 3 days.
GAV: Do you have any new projects coming up?
Christoph C. Cemper: We’ll soon bring our customers a whole new way of looking at their backlink profile, full access to the “Canonical’ed links,” full access to a highly-effective 25th link data source to *all* new LinkResearchTools Superheros and up, and amazing updates for our browser extensions.
GAV: We know you attend affiliate conferences such as LAC and BAC as a speaker, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
Christoph C. Cemper: I enjoyed both conferences. The organization was great, and I sure had a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the BAC SEO Panel I participated in with Bastian Grimm, Fili Wiese, and Michael Caselli.
GAV: How do you see the present state of online gambling affiliation?
Christoph C. Cemper: There are certainly more online gambling affiliation programs than ever before. Now everyone can become an affiliate with the right training and the right mindset. A trend I noticed in the past year is that affiliates are using more social media platforms for promotion and I think that this is a growing trend in 2017.
GAV: Do you have clients from the online gambling industry, if so name at least two?
Christoph C. Cemper: Yes, we do have many clients from the online gambling industry. I can give you Mr. Green and Unibet as examples.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon shortly?
Christoph C. Cemper: The online gambling industry does have potential to become a global phenomenon.
GAV: What advice you would like to offer to the newbie SEO’s who are looking just starting?
Christoph C. Cemper: Every new SEO needs to have in mind that link risk management needs to be his top priority, alongside link building. Even Google said, “Ranking without links is really, really hard.” But these must be good links. Risky links can attract a penalty.
To make it short: a new SEO needs to focus on keeping the link detox risk low and build strong, niche-related, trustworthy links to boost the website’s rankings.
GAV: How about an advice for people who’re looking to venture into the online gambling industry as affiliates with a new website? What would you advise them?
Christoph C. Cemper: The same thing I’d advise anyone that has a new website:
- keep the link risk low by doing weekly link audits
- disavow risky links as often as necessary
- monitor incoming links
- compare the backlink profile to the ones of the competitors
- build Penguin-friendly links (here are 20 link building tips)
GAV: Where could we catch you in the near future as a speaker, do you have some upcoming events?
Christoph C. Cemper: I’ll be speaking at SMX Munich and Campixx in March, BrightonSEO in April and September, SEOkomm and OMX in November. You can always find an updated list of the events where you can meet me or hear me speak here: http://www.linkresearchtools.com/meet-us/.
GAV: Who is your favorite celebrity?
Christoph C. Cemper: Tim Ferris and Elon Musk.
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, some part of the region maybe that you haven’t visited yet?
Christoph C. Cemper: I know and like Prague, Budapest and Bratislava. I’d gladly like to visit Warsaw and Moscow.
GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
Christoph C. Cemper: No idea.
GAV: What is your opinion about GAV (Gambling Affiliate Voice)?
Christoph C. Cemper: The Gambling Affiliate Voice is doing a great job at making the online gambling industry more transparent and easier to understand for everyone. A great place where fellow affiliates can share their views about online gambling and so much more.
If you would like to suggest subjects for future interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Affiliate Interviews: Phil of ExclusiveBonus.co.uk and FootballMatchPreviews.com
We continue the Affiliate Interviews series, with another gambling affiliate rock star sharing his own story about his journey into this great industry. Today we catch up with Phil, founder of ExclusiveBonus.co.uk and FootballmatchPreviews.com.
GAV: Hi Phil, first of all thanks for your time and interest! Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did your career start in the industry? What was the main idea of developing this two great sites?
PHIL: Hi GAV. I’ve been in the affiliate gambling industry almost 10 years running a variety of sites. I started in the business doing some admin work for another gambling affiliate and decided to setup my own business with the aim of promoting online casinos and sportsbooks. I decided to develop Exclusive Bonus as a way of listing the best bonus, free bets and other promotions available. With Football Match Previews the aim is to provide good analysis of European football and free betting tips.
GAV: Since there are thousands and thousands of websites out there, and the market is quite ruff at this moment, where do you think exclusivebonus.co.uk and footballmatchpreviews.com stands now?
PHIL: It is difficult as you see sites topping the search engines that aren’t really anything more than glorified adverts. I’m really trying to do something a bit more independent and catered for gamblers. For instance with Exclusive Bonus I’m interested in exploring hidden offers and more obscure promotions. I like to list promos that are good for players, rather than just shamelessly promoting a brand who pays the most.
With Football Match Previews the commercial side is quite small and the user gets a lot of free quality football analysis without being over pressured with advertising.
GAV: How do you see the online casino industry at this moment? What about the football betting industry?
PHIL: In the UK sports betting has exploded which is what I’m more interested in. I started out in online casinos and at the time sports players were fairly worthless compared with casino players. For me at the moment my income is heavily geared towards sports. I find sports more interesting to write about. I think some online casino offers can be interesting, but I find welcome bonuses with impossible turn requirements a bit outdated and unfair on players.
GAV: How did you start and most of all what bumps did you have to overcome in the beginning?
PHIL: I was quite lucky when I was younger. I just handed my notice in at my job in a bank. Met a friend in a bar, got some admin work on a gambling site, started my own gambling site and in a year was making about four times what I made in a year.
The first year seems quite easy looking back. I think things have progressively got more difficult and competitive. So while I’m far more experienced, its not easy these days and much tougher to acquire players. The bumps you have to overcome are kind of inevitable. Main issues are really with the hard time gambling sites are given by search engines, PPC and social media. Also affiliate programs changing your deals is difficult. Generally I’m a big believer in perseverance. I have had multiple things go wrong, but enough goes right to balance that out.
GAV: We have closely analyzed Exclusivebonus.co.uk and Footballmatchpreviews.com!
On ExclusiveBonus.co.uk we found some great online casino reviews. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How many reviews are there on your website? How about the blog section, tell us a bit more about it?
PHIL: Sometimes I write myself, but generally I’ll outsource to a team of writers I have. I prefer the way I write as I know the industry well, but practically I don’t have the time to write as much as I would like. The blog is really where I list any offers that stand out. I find its difficult to know what each gambling firm is giving as promotions, so its nice to delve in and find the more unusual offers.
GAV: How about Football Match Previews, do you handle the site alone, let us know a bit more?!
PHIL: I have a writer who helps with the previews. I also have someone who helps with the tips. With this site I’m interested in something that is manageable to the user. We generally give two previews a week. Some of the main sites will preview every game and give hundreds of tips. Due to this in my opinion most free tips on these sites are pretty worthless. Its really a vehicle to promote bookmakers, which I’m sure works well, but I’m interested in having a small base of customers who appreciate the content you give for free and the advertising being secondary.
GAV: Do you find it hard to keep the content fresh and relevant on your websites, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?
PHIL: It can be hard as once you’ve written about a casino bonus it can get repetitive or listing yet another free bet. Fortunately a lot of gambling sites have got much more interesting in recent years with their promotions so this helps keep things fresh as every bookmaker is coming up with new and interesting things that you can write about.
GAV: We’re convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built?!?
PHIL: There is issues on both sides. Some affiliate managers can be hard to deal with or a little too pushy, but they are also under a lot of pressure to meet their targets and drive traffic. Generally I favour affiliate managers who have a long term outlook, rather than just what happens this month. A lot of problems with affiliate programs are with the terms, which are decisions usually made by management. I think changes terms and conditions does a lot of damage to a programs reputation.
GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon? How about the football betting…?
PHIL: I imagine the US market will open up, which will make things more interesting with online casinos. Football is already huge, but you do have issues as a lot of bookmakers have restrictions on a lot of countries. If regulation was worked out better it improves things for affiliates as its presently difficult operating websites with a global reach, but restrictions on which countries that can actually fund your websites.
GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino affiliate ecosystem and also in the tipster?!
PHIL: Affiliate programs need to think of the long term, some affiliates could be working for 50 years in this industry. Some protection for affiliates in the form of contracts would be better.
GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer for the newbies who are looking to venture into this great industry!?
PHIL: I think its tough, but I’ve seen new guys do things that explode that I thought would never work. There is always a way of doing things better. I’m not the smartest on social media, but some newer affiliates absolutely kill it. I think the best advise is just to keep going. Don’t expect to make money straight away, but with a good idea and a lot of work there is no reason why you can’t compete and make a living.
GAV: Do you attend any iGaming, sportsbetting/online casino conferences? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?
PHIL: Sometimes I do, just because its nice to meet affiliate managers face to face. I really enjoyed the Berlin Affiliate Conference, also London Affiliate Conference is always good.
GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hotspot in the near future? Where do you think the region must still improve upon?
PHIL: Its not something I have a great deal of knowledge about. I don’t see why not, mostly it will be down to the countries involved regulation. If the regulation is fair to the country and the gambling firms everyone should do well.
GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe? Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe?
PHIL: Prague, as my grandfather was born there. My wife speaks Russian also, so Moscow or St. Petersburg would be cool. I probably wouldn’t want to go anywhere too remote, I like my wifi too much.
GAV: Do you have a favourite football player…?
PHIL: Eric Cantona.
GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?
PHIL: I think it’s a great site and I really like the ethos of giving affiliates a voice in a industry in which often the little guys aren’t really heard or giving a platform.
GAV: Thanks for your time and appreciation Phil. We wish you all the best and let us know if you have some news to share!
If you would like to suggest subjects for future interviews, make sure to send your suggestions to: email@example.com .
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