Why the key to DFS content could be in print...

Why the key to DFS content could be in print...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 Posted by Sam Cooke
Jamie Reeves on his plans for FFMag

DFS is a term the gaming industry has been hearing for some time now. In Europe, and in the UK, however it remains a nascent and it’s a nut that no one seems to have cracked quite yet. Despite the overwhelming popularity of season long fantasy football (there are over four million players on the EPL’s official game in the UK right now), in the British isles, DFS operators have come and gone in the past two years.

Now a tighter group are positioning themselves as leaders in Europe with differing tactics. Some see DFS as a primarily B2B option for bookmakers, whilst others continue to see potential and value in a standalone B2C option.

Jamie Reeves is the man behind fplbet, one of the space’s best known affiliates, and his latest project sees him embarking on something new; the creation of a fantasy football magazine. Titled FFMag, it’s currently gaining traction on Indiegogo with over 60% of its £7,500 fixed goal completed at the time of writing.

Reeves spoke to Totally Gaming about his experience in DFS and his decision to launch FFMag. He said: “Over the last three years I’ve been experimenting with ways to market DFS products to the FPL market, as both a marketing manager and an affiliate. During this time, I’ve never seen a product with the same marketing potential as this magazine.

“There are three problems that plague the current FPL space from a DFS marketing perspective. These are market saturation, a lack of innovation and bounce rates.”

Reeves has done his research too. He continued: “Last month I completed an independent study into the 15 leading FPL websites that release weekly content. I found that 87.3% of websites shared more than two article topics per week (think captain tips, differential tips, previews).

This market saturation has led to a decrease in innovation which then plays a large part in increasing bounce rates. There are multiple other reasons I’ve found to contribute towards increasing bounce rates, including social media traffic.

“Last month I found that more than 90% of social media referrals bounced, with an average session duration of less than 30 seconds. With numerous websites covering the same topics, it appears that users are clicking through just to skim and compare the answers of those websites, rather than to engage and read.”

So with talk of a lack of innovation holding the industry back does it not seem hypocritical and ‘backward thinking’ to launch a magazine which will be printed (in addition to a digital version) at a time where print is struggling more than ever? He answered: “The first edition of the magazine engaged thousands of readers, as evidenced by the 80% of survey respondents who read every single page. Assuming the average person spends 2-3 minutes per page, it’s fair to suggest thousands of managers spent at least two hours within our publication.

“During my study I found that the websites with the best highest session durations were those who had active comment sections. It appears that when users are spending extended periods of time on these sites, it isn't to engage with the content, but instead to engage with the (usually) unrelated comment section.

This leads me to speculate that the magazine already has the most focused readership of any FPL website/product offering editorial.

Indeed their numbers to date speak for themselves. Already, FFMag has seen 90 print subscriptions to 25 different countries including Mauritius, Indonesia and Japan. And the results from the first edition suggest a positive future. Over 4,000 FPL players downloaded and read the first edition of the magazine. The initial feedback reportedly showed that 80% read every single page (40), whilst the other 20% read more than half.

Reeves also noted, much to their surprise, they found that a lot people wanted printed copies, with over 150 of those surveyed stating they would be interested in purchasing a season-long subscription.

As to the imminent future of FFMag, Reeves said: “Next season we plan to work closely with UK businesses and invest strategically in our marketing efforts; to begin tapping into the wider audience of FPL players. We’re on course to be posting out thousands of printed copies per month, whilst releasing a free digital product to be enjoyed by tens of thousands.

“I never thought that I’d be saying this in 2017, but the future of FPL (especially from a DFS marketing perspective) looks to be in print.”

The campaign is ongoing and more information can be found on the Indiegogo page.

Totally Gaming says: Everybody knows a fantasy football ‘guru’ who loves nothing more than gazing and assessing every last stat. For this sizable audience a magazine catering to this national obsession makes sense, and logic suggests that this could provide considerable fuel for the growth of the DFS market in the UK, Europe and seemingly further afield.

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