Review of the Bingo Market 2018: TV overtakes digital, and a renewed interest in sign-up offers

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The experts at WhichBingo have just released their annual bingo industry market report, covering the year 2018.

The report digs deep into key demographic, visitor and financial data, charts the most important trends, and features interviews with industry movers and shakers.

As always, it’s a riveting read, and produces several fascinating insights into how bingo fans are interacting with bingo sites in the UK. Let’s have a look at a few of the most important take-aways.

Google’s EAT is Eating into the Smaller Players’ Share of Organic Search

The EAT algorithm update has shaken up many niches in the last year, and bingo is no different. Google’s shift towards a focus on quality and authority naturally means that the biggest bingo operator brands are cornering the market on the big volume keywords, with Gala leading the way in this trend.

However, the report suggests that smaller websites can still score for better-converting long-tail keywords, and that mobile bingo-related keywords seem to produce better qualified visitors.

TV Advertising Spend is Up, But Digital is Down

2018 saw a big jump in TV advertising, with overall spending up an impressive 15%. Tombola led the way, spending over £1 million a month in the UK. This included sponsorship of the reality show “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here”.

It may surprise some in the industry, but bingo advertising through digital channels was down in 2018. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in other iGaming niches such as casino and sportsbook. The rumours are that several UK-based sportsbook affiliates have indeed closed their PPC accounts to focus purely on organic search. Watch this space…

Less Onerous Wagering Requirements are Making Bingo Customers Interested in Bonuses Again

Wagering requirements are one of the most complained about conditions in any gambling niche. These requirements have been made less stringent in the bingo market in the past few years and this seems to be generating more interest in promotional bonuses.

In 2017, 61% of players said they would prefer to get no bonus at all if it meant they could withdraw winnings faster and more easily. However, last year this figure dropped to 55%. Could it be that bingo sites are slowly finding a better balance between wagering requirements and bonuses? A hefty 59% of customers told the survey that the sign-up offer is the first thing they look for in new bingo sites, so this might well be the case.

Bingo Customers are a Loyal Bunch

Despite that healthy interest in sign-up deals, bingo fans in 2018 still tend to be loyal. Unlike in the sportsbook and casino niches, where customers move from one welcome bonus to another, bingo fans seem to be a lot less promiscuous in choosing where to play. The WhichBingo survey shows that 47% of customers are members of between 2 – 4 bingo sites.

Other interesting facts from the survey are that women still dominate this market, with a full 88% of customers being female, and a growing trend for older players to enjoy bingo. Could that increased focus on TV advertising over digital already be paying dividends? We shall certainly be watching this space as 2019 promises to be an interesting year within the bingo industry.


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