How can viewers circumvent the limitations of OTT device remotes and rely less on their smartphones as betting instruments? Rick Allen, CEO, ViewLift, asks Sandy Agarwal, Founder and CEO, TAPPP, how his company works to make OTT sports betting a more seamless experience for users.
“Talk to us about the position TAPPP has taken relative to the first and second screen issue and how you’re overcoming some of those inherent equipment and hardware limitations,” Allen says to Agarwal.
“At the outset, it is extremely complex,” Agarwal says. “But when we launched this company, it was with that market opportunity or that data set of problems that we had to solve when we launched. So the company was purpose built [to solve] for single screen.” For TAPPP, he says, sports betting posed the greatest challenges due to its highly regulated nature in the 21 states where it is permitted. “The company was built to address that,” he says. He notes that an essential aspect of this is the backend technology. However, “all our focus has been about the customer’s journey and customer experiences.”
Agarwal explains all of the different elements that are a part of the customer experience with streaming sports betting, which includes operating systems such as iOS or Android and then the 10-foot user interface of smart TVs. “So we are talking about Roku, we are talking Firestick, we are talking about Apple,” he says. “And for each one of them, the user experience has been very different. And what our focus has been is to start small and create engagements for users that are fun and entertaining and gets them involved. Because if somebody does place a bet, that is the greatest form of engagement. Because now you have a vested interest in the game, right?”
Agarwai highlights TAPPP’s recent implementation of their services for ten weeks in June 2022 on the Rugby Network. “They’ve got 200,000 customers,” he says. “We ran free-to-play end real money gaming. And what we are able to show by hard data was that engagement went up 2.3 times. That means people that are watching 10 minutes with free-to-play actually watched 23 minutes. And we’ve got other interesting facts that came out…if the rewards were given to them at the end of the game, there was less engagement. So if there were three questions and then you won, or if there’s one question and then you won, that actually [got them to] to stay on the screen longer…as a company right now, we focus on building that backend, and building front ends that will address this. What that conversion funnel and what that cohort will look like is going to be an ongoing exercise of what we do. And that will involve partnerships with sports books and eventually with other companies that want to monetize this space.”
Allen says, “And TAPPP is not a sportsbook. So you will hand it off [to the sportsbook] in the future for folks who are looking for legal gambling in the states where it’s permitted?”
“We already are with two platforms,” Agarwal says. “In two states, the regulator approved it. They looked at it end-to-end.” He emphasizes the transparent approach that TAPPP takes. “We are not trying to get your birth date and your parents’ maiden name in the registration process on the screen. We are making it very binary. You see it, it very clearly tells you what the reward is: you bet five bucks to win 18 bucks, whether the score is going be odd even at the end of the quarter or whether who’s going to score more points, who’s going to score more 3 pointers. It’s just easy stuff like that. And when that bet is placed, it’s completed in the sportsbook. TAPPP is not a sportsbook, just like we don’t expect to be the companies that will fill e-commerce or orders, either.”
Learn more about OTT-based betting at Streaming Media East 2023.
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