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Q&A w/ John Wright, CEO and Co-Founder at StatsDrone



Q&A w/ John Wright, Co-Founder at StatsDrone
Reading Time: 4 minutes


How does it feel to win the Best Tech for Affiliates at the iGB Afffiliate Awards?

The entire team at StatsDrone are thrilled to win and it means a lot to us. All week long at the London Affiliate Conference, we’ve been hearing from affiliates how happy they are with the app. Our reputation is getting known for data accuracy and great customer support so we are happy to hear it and listen to the needs of affiliates. 

It means even more to win against some very tough competition that have been in the industry for longer. As a startup that is trying to make a name for ourselves, this award was worth the past few years of hard work from our team. 


Why did you create StatsDrone and how did you come up with the name?

I used to use an app called Nifty Stats that went out of business in 2017. I’ve always had affiliate program review sites and I remembered the frustration of running affiliate sites and being frustrated by affiliate programs. I felt there was a missing feedback loop needed for affiliates to help on various thing such as the following:

  • Notifications of urgent compliance messages
  • Changes in tracking software which invalidates older links
  • Programs going out of business

Simply put, these messages don’t always end up in your inbox and even if they did, they are easy to not find them whether they end up in spam or are part of the 100s of messages any affiliate would get in a single day. I just wanted affiliates to know when programs closed, when tracking software would change and anything else that would notify affiliates of revenue leak. 


The name of StatsDrone was a mix of stats plus something else. Overall I wanted a name that nobody had ever used online or in social media so when seeing if was available, it was. In 2017 I was starting to fly drones and the line of thinking was that drones could be controlled and in the future they could be automated. You can get an aerial view of your stats and we wanted the app to give the best insights to affiliates.


What does the StatsDrone app do for affiliates?

The app is like Quickbooks for affiliates. It can pull your stats and save them in one location. So if you wanted to know how much money you made yesterday, or month to date, you had quick access to this and could see all your stats before you wake up. These stats are things like account balance, clicks, FTDs (or NDCs), deposits, withdrawals, revenue share, CPA, sub affiliate and total commissions. The app also gives various KPIs like earnings per click (EPC) and effective revenue share (ERS).

In the past year we have added some CRM and Business Intelligence tools. These include invoice generator, account notes and deal manager on the CRM side. For BI we have the ability to tag campaigns and brands as well as data alerts and notifications. That is you can get an alert if your FTDs is less than or equal to a certain amount or when you reach a milestone like 20 FTDs in a month.


You run an affiliate focused podcast, what insights can you share from some of your guests?


I love doing the affiliate podcast because I get to have talks with talented people that as directly and indirectly in the affiliate marketing space. I often get to chat with a lot of smart SEOs that all have their unique view of SEO and affiliate marketing.

It is hard to summarize the past year of insights but one theme that seems to be common is that it is perhaps 1% of people that have great success because they will do the extra work that the remaining 99% won’t do. That is people won’t do any planning or create strategies for their business. It eventually boils down to work output but also being consistent. I think everyone is impatient and they want the most money for the least amount of time put in. You got to be patient and work to make real progress.


What do you see changing in the future for affiliate marketers in the iGaming space?

I think a lot has already changed but I also believe there are a lot of affiliates sitting and watching the competition waiting for the next trends to happen. If you are not innovating and doing research to see what else you could be doing in your business, you might be caught out of position.

The 3 things I see changing in affiliate marketing which applies to iGaming is this:

  1. Data & Business Intelligence
  2. Video
  3. AI

Perhaps you can put Data and Business Intelligence into the same category as AI but I”ll separate for now.

Simply put, there is a growing interest in B2B and data companies as these are ones that are starting to become acquired.

I’ll jump to AI because AI has helped content be produced at an immense rate never seen before. AI has so many applications and you really need to listen to what people are doing with AI and be researching it.

Video can be part of AI but I talk about video because this is what separates a lot of people. Video is content and it is tougher for people to do. Unless you are hiring people to make your videos, it still requires effort and many people are not willing to get in front of a camera.

Video and streaming is a big part of any industry niche and I think more people will rely on video for helping them with buying decisions. At the end of the day, people want to buy from people.


What can we expect from StatsDrone in the near future?

We are working on a lot but most of 2024 will be focused on adtech. We think the next thing we need to solve for affiliates is have better link tools that can not just cloak their tracking links but help them avoid revenue leak.

We think pixel and S2S tracking will become more important as time goes on and we are excited to help affiliates integrate this and make a complex thing become easy for them.



Prague Gaming & TECH Summit 2024

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Affiliate Industry

Blaze Gaming turns up the heat by joining First Look Games



Blaze Gaming turns up the heat by joining First Look Games
Reading Time: 2 minutes


Rising star studio gets serious about game promotion by partnering with award-winning marketing platform that directly connects providers and affiliates

First Look Games, the ultimate marketing platform for game studios, has partnered with Blaze Gaming as the up-and-coming provider looks to drive awareness of its titles among affiliates and players.

As a partner of First Look Games, Blaze Gaming gains access to a fully branded library where it can upload information and assets for each of its games. This can then be downloaded by a network of approved affiliates and used to create reviews and previews.

The First Look Games library is powerful and sophisticated, with providers such as Blaze Gaming able to upload game sheets, logos, images and videos for each title in their portfolio.

The provider can even offer demo links for each of its games, with player verification that is carried out seamlessly by 1account. This means that affiliates in highly regulated markets such as the UK can still offer demo games to their audiences.

Blaze Gaming has complete control over the assets it shares via its library, and when those assets are made available to affiliates. It can even offer a “first look” to certain affiliates up to two weeks before a new game launches.

This allows affiliates to build anticipation of the game ahead of its launch – when it goes live, players can then fire up the reels without delay.

Elliott Resnick of First Look Games, said: “It’s great to see Blaze Gaming engaging with affiliates by using our award-winning platform. First Look Games provides cost-effective game marketing that is proven to work, and Blaze can now take advantage of its unrivalled power and reach.”

Keith Goddard, CEO at Blaze Gaming, added: “We are excited to leverage First Look Games and its suite of features and tools to directly connect with affiliates and make them aware of the awesome games in our portfolio so that more players can discover Blaze Gaming and our innovative, entertaining slots for the first time.”

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Affiliate Industry

Catena Media Updates its Financial Targets



Reading Time: 2 minutes


Catena Media has updated its long-term financial targets for 2024-26 to reflect a change in revenue streams as the group transitions towards a more sustainable revenue model following the completion of the strategic review in November last year.

The group expects a resumption of organic growth in the second half of 2024 and full-year adjusted EBITDA in the range of EUR 20-30 million as the first operational impacts begin to show from an extensive programme of technology- and data-based investments.

The new targets are:

  • Double-digit organic growth in both revenue and adjusted EBITDA for 2025 and 2026 at group level.
  • Net interest-bearing debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio of 0-1.75.

The shift towards a more sustainable revenue model involves recruiting more players via revenue-share agreements with operators compared to cost-per-acquisition (CPA) contracts and implementing a programme of investments in tech and data innovation that is being rolled out in Q1 and Q2 2024.

These investments, planned as a result of the strategic review, will reinvent the group’s core technological focus by strengthening the organisation with new product offerings that prioritise technology, innovation and immersive user experiences. The primary initiatives include investments in artificial intelligence (AI), paid media, sub affiliation and further strategic media partners to broaden audiences and deliver greater value to partners.

Investments into AI include the establishment of a joint venture with a specialist AI partner to develop a generative AI application dedicated exclusively to content production for online betting and casino gaming affiliation. This initiative launched its first minimum viable product (MVP) in February 2024.

AI innovations and other tech-facing enhancements will enable Catena Media to scale the business, develop new revenue streams and generate synergies while also delivering a more personalised user experience as the group positions to become the data- and technology-driven leader of online affiliate marketing in its target sports betting and casino gaming markets.

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Affiliate Industry

Affiliate GGR Doubles in 2023: Affilka by SOFTSWISS Recap



Affiliate GGR Doubles in 2023: Affilka by SOFTSWISS Recap
Reading Time: 2 minutes


Affilka by SOFTSWISS, a leading affiliate management software provider, registers a two-fold increase in affiliate Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in 2023. 

In 2023, Affilka by SOFTSWISS significantly bolstered its reach, welcoming 120 new brands into its partner network, now exceeding 320 brands. Moreover, almost 100,000 new affiliate accounts were registered during the same timeframe, marking a 176% increase over the previous year. The number of new affiliate accounts registered in 2023 represents 43.5% of the total registrations since the platform’s establishment in 2018.


The rise in new affiliate accounts has led to a notable acceleration in new player registrations, exceeding 24 million over the past year. Compared to 2022, this metric has increased around 2.4 times, highlighting the impact of effective affiliate management on success within the iGaming landscape.


In 2023, the number of unique clicks on referral links with Affilka by SOFTSWISS increased notably, jumping 4.4 times compared to 2022. This growth can be credited to the expansion of the affiliate partner network and the improved brands’ capabilities using Affilka by SOFTSWISS.

In the financial review of Affilka by SOFTSWISS, notable growth is evident over the past year. Notably, the player deposit amount surged 2.4 times, the affiliate GGR nearly doubled, and affiliate payments increased by 70%.

Anastasia Borovaya, Head of Affilka by SOFTSWISS, remarks: “Our recent performance boost can be attributed to our robust referral infrastructure, ensuring smooth traffic flow that converts into higher player deposit amounts. We’re seeing an uptick in partner payments because we refined the commission constructor, allowing for more flexibility and customised management of partner rewards.

We invest consistently in innovation and improving user experience in affiliate marketing, recognising its crucial role in iGaming. Our mission is to provide clients with a comprehensive affiliate marketing software solution vital for their operations. We prioritise exceptional service to attract new clients and ensure their continued loyalty.”

In the last quarter of the previous year, the world’s leading agency, Kantar, conducted a customer satisfaction survey for Affilka by SOFTSWISS. The average score obtained was 8.1 out of 10, with 91% of respondents expressing satisfaction with the product. Additionally, the satisfaction score for account managers was also high at 9.1 out of 10, with 97% of clients expressing contentment with the quality of work provided by Affilka’s account managers.




SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland, and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.


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