The headline development this quarter is that Better Collective’s stronger momentum in acquiring NDCs, as predicted in our last report, has seen it overhaul Catena Media in this crucial KPI.
Catena is still the largest performance marketer among its listed peers based on the headline metrics of revenue and EBITDA, but quarterly NDC volumes have clearly been tailing off since it took its foot off the consolidation pedal.
CEO Per Hellberg subsequently announced a number of SEO-focused turnaround measures designed to address a situation the company is ‘clearly not happy’ about and promised analysts they will do better in H2.
The Catena boss also revealed the direction of travel in terms of value per individual NDC was in the opposite direction to volume, up to €235 in 2Q19 from €170 in 4Q18.
With regulation continuing to subdue performance in markets such as Sweden, Spain, France and Italy, geographic expansion was also a common theme of the Q2 earnings releases and analyst calls, with the likes of Latam, Japan and India – and of course the US – all figuring.
In the US, affiliates face several hurdles on top of the state-by-state rollout, not least the huge DFS player databases of FanDuel and DraftKings reducing these brands’ need for affiliates and the absence of online operations in the initial launch phase in some states.
Gambling.com Group’s Charles Gillespie also makes the point that US regulators prioritising ‘suitability’ above black and white rules on advertising and problem gambling controls could conceivably see the sector run into the same problems as we are now seeing in the UK and Sweden.
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