Namah Chawla

IPL impact: fantasy gaming platform PlayerzPot saw 50% increase in registrations

CEO Sunil Yadav informs that the platform has quadrupled its IPL budget this year.

Online fantasy gaming platform PlayerzPot’s Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign revolves around people’s obsession with diverse things, one of them being cricket. PlayerzPot got popular comedian and television actor Kiku Sharda for its IPL 2022 campaign.

The campaign uses OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar, short video apps and PlayerzPot’s social media channels, as a part of its media mix.

Speaking about why IPL is important for the brand, Sunil Yadav, CEO, PlayerzPot, says, “In fantasy gaming, cricket occupies the major chunk of the revenue. Our IPL campaign wanted to reach out to audiences who are now more mature, as compared to a few years back. They are aware of the segment and the value proposition and USP that PlayerzPot is offering.”

Sunil Yadav, PlayerzPot
Sunil Yadav, PlayerzPot

As per the FICCI-EY Media and Entertainment Report 2022, the Indian fantasy sports industry is growing at a 32 per cent CAGR and is projected to reach 2.5 billion by 2022. India had over 360 million gamers in 2020 and there will be 510 million gamers by 2022-end.

Elaborating on the brand’s IPL campaign, Yadav says, “As a result of our the campaign, we saw around 50 per cent increase in registrations within the first phase of IPL 15. The campaign also helped the brand to get back the users who had used the app when it was first launched in 2016.”

Yadav informs that PlayerzPot’s IPL 15 ad spends have increased to about 400 per cent of IPL 14 ad spends.

PlayerzPot has chosen the OTT route because the medium provides it with the right kind of reach and eyeballs. Till now, the IPL campaign has resulted in a spike of 35 per cent of users, Yadav shares.

Over a period of time, the major players of the segment have come together to form industry bodies that cater to the segment's needs, be it generating user awareness or tackling any legal or government issues. “There is increased participation from not only Indian institutional investors, but also foreign investors, which is a good sign for the industry,” adds Yadav.

Mentioning the fantasy gaming player’s USP, Yadav explains that PlayerzPot noticed that users were facing an issue with the withdrawal of money on the app. So, it created an instant withdrawal feature. As per him, Playerzpot was the first one to do so and other players then followed suit.

Yadav agrees that lately, the online gaming industry has become very competitive. He says that due to low attention span and decreased sense of loyalty of people towards a particular platform, it has become more about what value the consumers are getting and not about what value a brand or player is providing to them.

Since gaming in India is a state-governed entity, there are issues that most players face around certain legal regulations. If any kind of ban is imposed in a particular state, it can lead to a number of issues.

Gambling, betting, horse racing, etc., fall under the 28 per cent GST slab in India. The GST paid on skill-based games is also 28 per cent, which is equal to that of luck-based games. Online gaming is bifurcated into games of chance and skill. Unlike a game of chance, where the outcome is based on a yes or no, a game of skill requires the players' input and tactics to win. A distinction between these games, in terms of how they are looked upon legally, is needed.

“The overall segment demands the GST to be slashed to 18 per cent on skill-based games. If there is a clear framework by the government on the demarcation of various games, it will bring more clarity and lead to better growth of our industry,” Yadav signs off.

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