I did a talk on Friday to the 4th Racing and Business Betting Forum in Paris. The forum, organised by the EPMA, is a gathering of the Worlds Pari Mutual Betting Operators and for the first time included the Horse Racing authorities. It boasted 140 delegates from over 27 countries. I was hosting a section on How to address a new generation of customers to explore the influence and advance of Social and technical Changes.
It was a lively and varied session featuring 4 guest speakers covering social, social gaming mobile technology and racing technology. I introduced the session with the Talk below, enjoy (note the slides only really work to illustrate the words so a full text is included)
After the break…
Good afternoon ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to the second part of the Forum where we will be discussing how to address the new generation.
My name is Stephen Lovell and I am from Paddy Power, who for those who don’t know, are the largest online sportsbook in the UK and Ireland.
I head up a Product innovation team tasked with looking at how we can take advantage of new and emerging technologies and new and emerging platforms.
One of the questions I am frequently asked is “what’s coming next” or “what is the next big thing” to which I generally answer “how on earth would I know”
But it is an great question and one that we must try and answer if we are to keep apace with the changing technology and trends that influence us.
All around us change is taking place in all walks of life so to answer that question I always tell people they need to look at the factors that are driving and will drive that change.
So before we get to the Question of How to Address the New generation I wanted to set the scene by talking about some of the factors that influence our product decisions today.
Firstly the World is becoming increasingly connected. Now telling you that the internet is here to stay is not exactly breaking news but the internet is becoming increasingly interwoven with our daily lives more than it ever was before.
During 2008 the number of Things connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on this earth, and with it people now expect to be connected 24 hours a day, from anywhere, and on their own terms. Technical ability is becoming second nature rather than something that is learned. my 4 year old thinks that my laptop is broken because it doesn’t do anything when he touches the screen.
And now “Internet enabled” is a term applied to more and more devices from tablets to televisions and phones to, well, even to fridges!
Because of this connected access is changing.
In Q4 2010 Mobile and Tablet sales overtook PC sales for the first time. The PC is no longer the dominant access technology and this is only going to continue since the adoption curve of new technologies is also shortening.
It took apple just over a year to sell 10M ipods,
Then it took just 6 months to sell 10M iPhones
but the launch of the iPad saw its 10 Millionth sale in just 3 months.
The mobile channel is booming, in 2010 Ebay reported nearly $2 billion in mobile sales – more than tripling its 2009 total — and it expects to reach $4 billion this year with one mobile transaction taking place every 2 Seconds.
So far in 2010, the most expensive item sold via eBay’s mobile app was a 1985 Piper PA-46-310P Malibu airplane for $265,000. The transaction was successful and resulted in the exchange of positive Feedback.
Later on Andrew Pegler from MFuse will talk to us about how they are tapping into mobile to enhance the betting experience for customers.
So peoples relationship with the internet is changing, how they access the internet is changing what they are doing online.
Video on demand is a fast riser with the increase in connection speeds making it a much greater experience. Netflix in North America now accounts for 30% of all internet traffic, that’s one third of the traffic is all from that single source.
Social is the other big story, February 2009 marked the time where social networking activity beat email activity in terms of usage on the internet.
Just this month Facebook announced it had 800M users with 700 billion mins per month spent on the site. The average user creates 90 pieces of content per month
Twitter went from 0 to 200M registered accounts in only 5 years with over 200M tweets being sent per day
In fact the average American spends more time on Facebook than they do on Google, Amazon, Yahoo, YouTube and Wikipedia combined.
Later Kirsty Bell from Yomego will talk to us about how tapping into people’s social graph can enable you to create loyalty, reduce churn and create a real 2 way dialogue with your customers that will builds lasting and deep relationships.
The rise of social and mobile has also introduced another interesting trend, the rise of gaming, everyone is doing it
When you are sitting on the train watching the businessman looking at his phone, he’s not replying to a vital email he is playing…
Angry birds now has been downloaded 350 million times and accounts for over 300million mins of game play PER DAY
When you see people on Facebook there is a fair chance that they are not finding out what their friends from school are doing as they are too busy playing Farmville. In the US 50% of all Facebook sessions are to play games
Zyngas latest offering Cityville took just 41days (yep days) to reach 100M active users, beating Farmville easily in the process.
Later Tadhg Kelly will talk to us about why gaming has suddenly become so compelling and is reaching audiences far beyond that of a typical gamer.
Sport is changing as well with viewers experience changing everywhere they look. Hawkeye, in car cameras, 3D is making sport a completely different proposition. In the information age customers crave and demand data to feed off, to influence decisions, to heighten excitement, and to make things easier. This revolution is just beginning now in racing; on the screen now is a shot from the Singapore Turf Club where they are using Trakus technology to do all 3.
Today we are lucky enough to have Michael Ciacciarelli from Trakus to talk to us about this technology and highlight some of the applications for mobile devices, i-Pads, etc, and the growing use of Trakus displays to engage younger audiences and spur increased betting interest.
So we can see that there are many factors driving change, all of these examples show how people’s daily habits and routines are changing adapting to adopt these new things.
I guess the big question for this room is “Has this influenced the betting market?”
You can bet on it?
Literally, you can pretty much bet on anything, walking into a Paddy Power Shop, by phoning our call centre, logging onto our website, downloading our app on iphone, Android, blackberry or Nokia, or though your mobile browser, Don’t forget the ipad too. Soon you will be able to bet via your remote control on one of our connected TV applications and who knows whats next, perhaps that internet enabled fridge I was talking about earlier!
Technology also enables our fixed odds sports prices to arrive simultainiosly and in real time TO ALL THESE PLATFORMS and to ALL OUR BUSINESSES in the UK, IRELAND, AUSTRALIA and of course here in FRANCE to Paddy Power’s partners In ONLINE SPORTS BETTING – PMU.
40% of our customers last month placed a bet through our mobile applications and our online revenue accounts for 85% of group operating profits. So our customers are definitely voting with their wallets and embracing these new channels as they come along.
This gave us the confidence to invest and be the worlds first bookmaker in the iPhone, iPad and Android app stores and also the confidence to innovate further in the future to keep enhancing our customers experiences however they want to place a bet.
So what about that future then?
sometimes it is fun to put so ideas down so here Paddy Power have with our view of Racing 2.0
In the paddock, augmented reality apps enable you to get up to the minute odds and stats just by pointing your phone at any horse. And not just stats but quick and easy access to previous races, form and expert views on the race.
Watch the race using Jockey Cam enabling you to experience all the action from your smartphone from the view of your backed Jockeys, hopefully you will pick wisly or else you might end up looking at a lot of back ends of horses.
Live onbord stats can give you vital information about the way your horse is running, giving you the opportunity to get another horse in running if your confidence is low.
While we are at it lets get some laser technology in to the game, with precision accuracy on the finish line and an instant result
We could also have instantly changing horse suits with the colour reflecting their finishing position.
They are just some ideas for the future that probably are not actually too far away
And as William Gibson stated “the future is already here it’s just not evenly distributed” so now let’s hear from some people who have a little more of that distribution.