Dirk Makritzki, CEO of Eurostream GmbH & Co. KG, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam.
Dirk Makritzki speaks about Eurostream and its origins, the importance they give to consultation, their selling points, and other topics – follow his story below
Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into affiliation.
With a Master’s degree in Sports Economics at the University of Bayreuth, I started to work as a Radio & TV Sports journalist for the German public network ARD based in Berlin. In 1999, we founded Eurostream. We were the first to stream live sports (basketball, ice hockey, American football, dancing tournaments, and horseracing), the Berlin Love Parade, and concerts in Europe.
How did your affiliate business take off?
As mentioned, in 1999, we founded Eurostream. That was when the dotcom bubble burst (2000), we had to find a source to generate some money – through horseracing and Hockeyweb.de, we slid into the gambling industry.
In 2000, Eurostream was the first marketing agency with a clear focus on the iGaming industry in the DACH market. Our first clients where the old Sportwetten.de and later on Interwetten, Expect, and Paf.fi. With our journalistic background, we have excellent contacts with most of the editors (online, print, radio, and TV). Since we know how they work, we are able to cooperate with them directly, without necessarily dealing with the sales teams.
We strongly believe in the power of radio sales. That’s one of our unique selling points.
When did you found Eurostream? What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
Eurostream was founded in 1999. It would have been great to have more knowledge of and trust in affiliate marketing.
During the first years we strictly worked on CPM which made us very good money. However, I assume that it would have been more efficient in the long term if we had mainly focused on revenue share. However, in the early 2000s, iGaming affiliate marketing was not very well developed. Therefore, at that time, CPM was the right choice.
Which gaming affiliate websites fall under the Eurostream portfolio?
What sets you apart from other affiliates and what makes you unique?
Our marketing approach is oriented towards consultation. Since we started as consultants, it’s still in our DNA. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, if you want to establish your brand in a new market, or if you want to gain more FTDs, you simply need to trust us. We hate to waste operators’ money.
Which markets do you focus on, and do you see any potential in emerging markets?
The historical focus on the DACH market. Expanding into Europe, North and South America, and into Africa. Strictly in regulated markets.
How important is social media activity for your affiliate business? How difficult is it with Google’s constant updates?
We buy a lot of optimized social media traffic. We love Google, because our sports website (Hockeyweb.de) has over 20-year-old content history.
What makes an effective marketing strategy? Can you share a highlight?
Focus on your budget. Don’t spend little amounts in very expensive sources.
Which emerging technologies like AI and Big Data will impact the affiliate industry in 2023 and beyond?
The influence of AI and Big Data is already there. However, the biggest impact will always be real and interesting content.
How can ChatGPT automate many of the tedious and time-consuming tasks involved in affiliate marketing? How will it influence SEO? What are the worst- and best-case scenarios?
Very interesting questions. It depends on how the huge search engines deal with it.
In 2021, Germany became a regulated iGaming nation. What changed, and what didn’t? How are things now that the tolerance period is over?
Very difficult; margins decreased and some operators stepped out of affiliate marketing.
How do you choose your operators and how do you manage relationships with multiple operators?
Networking and socializing in conferences like SiGMA. Quality of the brand and product. Licenses for the markets they operate in.
How was your 300 Spartans’ experience?
Great, excellent networking. It was a great show, very friendly, and well-organized.
Are you a regular attendee at the SiGMA events? SiGMA Americas, Asia, Balkans/CIS, Eurasia, Europe – which of these expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2023?
Since Europe is our core market, we regularly attend SiGMA Europe in Malta.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favorite book, favourite quote, whether you are into gaming yourself, etc.
I have many hobbies which include traveling, biking, motorbiking, sailing, tennis, water polo, golf, hockey, music, and concerts.