Date: 04.04.2024

by Mateusz Mazur

“The affiliate marketing landscape has undergone significant changes”

We spoke to Andrejs Proskurins, Head of User Acquisition at R2D Partners, an affiliate program with more than 15 years of experience in the industry, who provided a deep dive into how the affiliate space has changed over the last few years. We also explored whether player acquisition costs have increased significantly, if affiliates hold more power and if are streamers the future.

What are the most crucial changes you have seen in the affiliate space recently?

Over the past 15 years, the affiliate marketing landscape has undergone significant changes, especially if compared with 2015–2018, the time when online advertising was actively developing, new formats were constantly appearing, and virtually every type of advertising received conversion. Nowadays, the market is oversaturated with advertisements and brands. In order to attract quality traffic, you have to look for new sources, approaches, and combinations of traffic and, of course, offer a highly competitive product.

What is happening in the sector now is monopolization. Large media holdings are buying up traffic en masse, and as a result, competition has become tougher and the cost of attracting new players has grown considerably. Even though it previously seemed like the SEO channel was regulated by search engines alone and there was no way to influence its work, it, too, has become more intricate and complex.

There is however another side of the coin. Brands are now paying more attention to increasing LTV—thus increasing the product quality, making it more technologically advanced and user-oriented. Thanks to increased competition among webmasters, markets that were not popular before are actively developing.

What geos are currently the most exiting ones in the industry?

We have recently witnessed a shift in market focus towards LatAm countries, but judging by discussions at the recent ICE London, this approach has already been recognised as overrated. We are more interested in the MENA and African markets, which are showing impressive momentum and are open to new partnerships. Affiliate marketing is a dynamic field and we need to constantly look for new directions and strategies for retention and growth.

What makes a good affiliate partner?

A good partner is somebody who strives to cooperate with managers and demonstrates integrity and honesty in their work. The ability to find new approaches and think outside the box is also important. These qualities help create sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships between affiliates and affiliate programs, contributing to mutual success.

There has recently been increasing regulation around affiliates – how can affiliates best navigate this?

Unregulated markets are becoming increasingly rare, and regulators tend to be excessively strict in their restrictions, requirements, and taxes. This has a huge impact on product profit margins, and given the ever-increasing cost of attracting traffic, it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to operate.

This approach encourages the development of grey and black methods of work. However, despite the difficulties, the key to success remains unchanged – honesty, transparency, and willingness to cooperate. These principles allow us to find effective solutions even in the ever-changing landscape of the iGaming and betting industry.

What role does streamer play in driving traffic?

One of the trends of recent years is the growing interest in streamers which are becoming increasingly popular. It is unclear whether their influence will be long-lasting, and it is a subject for discussion. Personally, I think that soon the industry will be filled with them, and this trend will wind down, as happens with every engagement channel. Once again, the market is saturated, and in this new reality, we need to look for new approaches and solutions to attract and retain users.