We recently had a very informative and honest interview with John Wright, the CEO and co-founder of one of the leading statistical analysis companies, StatsDrone, where we talked about various interesting topics ranging from the industry and the world of iGaming affiliates to the beginning of StatsDrone’s journey, emerging technologies, the future of the company, some of the biggest challenges they face and much more!
StatsDrone is part of a select group of companies that provide statistical analysis services, such as tracking sales and commission statistics for iGaming affiliates. Can you tell us more about the beginnings of StatsDrone, what inspired you and when did it all start?
Absolutely! I used to be a happy user of Stats Remote which was one of a few affiliate stats tracking tools at the time. I’ve also been running a site that lists and reviewed as many gambling affiliate programs as I could find.
I’ve had numerous situations that happened to me as an affiliate that made me want to change things. I didn’t believe Stats Remote was going to make any of these changes so I decided to look into this.
Those situations looked like the following:
- Affiliate programs going out of business
- Tracking links that are invalidated and that need to be replaced
- Programs late on payments, usually they would go out of business
- Affiliate programs being unethical
I would use this app daily and this was the only place I felt this information should be shared with other affiliates. On my own websites, I couldn’t expect users to come to my site daily to see if any of these problems were relevant to them. So the idea was born and I started making my first version of the app in 2018 and scrapped it in 2020 as it wasn’t working as intended with a developer I was working with.
I rebuilt it and after many years, finally got it up and running.
Being that you have a vast experience in the world of iGaming affiliates and are a prominent member yourself, can you tell us what makes StatsDrone so essential in this particular vertical of the industry?
I believed many affiliates were not looking at their stats in the way they should. I’ve been an affiliate manager in the past and I would find affiliates giving top exposure to another program that gave them 60% revenue share yet they never made money with that program. Some affiliates focus on the wrong things and I believe we need to look at data more. This isn’t just about saving time in having to log in to hundreds of affiliate programs to know how much money you made, but also to know which programs deserve more of your traffic and which ones deserve less.
It is clear that StatsDrone relies on cutting-edge technology in order to provide its services. How important is the use of AI for StatsDrone, and do you think it will take over the iGaming industry in the future?
Tough question! I would say cutting-edge technology helps but so does experience and passion. In building our apps, we’ve made most of the mistakes you can imagine and I’ve seen many competitor apps come and go. I’ve seen many top iGaming affiliates build this in-house only to have it fail and rely on Excel to record their data.
AI I think will have a profound impact on affiliate marketing but it will take some time for it to be put into use. It really is about having the right data available so it can be processed and handled by an AI program to perhaps make predictions of how to optimize your campaigns.
With a little over 800 affiliate programs supported by StatsDrone at the moment of writing, it is no secret that you are partners with some of the biggest brands in the iGaming industry. Can you tell us what is the single most challenging thing in your line of work?
Our biggest challenge is getting all the stakeholders together which would make our job easier. When we need to support any program, sometimes we find roadblocks like tougher or new re-captchas for blocking data requests. If we were a big affiliate ourselves, we would have the leverage to force affiliate programs and software providers to work with us.
In our case, our philosophy is we believe we can all learn from each other and as much as we need some standardization in place, we really need to have discussions about how to make everything better for affiliates and operators. That is something I aim to work on this year and beyond.
Since StatsDrone is considered the pinnacle of providing this type of service, it is no wonder that it is the go-to solution for a plethora of affiliate programs. Tell us, what separates you from the competition?
Another tough question. Our app services affiliates and we don’t really have much collaboration with operators yet. For our affiliates, we care about data accuracy and we want to make sure we can make your data as accurate as possible for you. This was a complaint I had in working with other download desktop stats apps. I understand why these competitors wouldn’t make those necessary changes but it is part of what we believe in and what we think is important.
The Metaverse is often referred to as the “next great thing”, and even the world of iGaming is slowly making a transition in this new digital realm. Do you think it would be possible for an operator in this line of work such as StatsDrone to prosper in the Metaverse?
Well, I’m going to be negative nancy here and say I don’t believe much in the Metaverse. We’ve been exposed to virtual reality for nearly 10 years and we barely have augmented reality in place. I think Facebook makes the wrong bet and I don’t think people want to replace the hours they spend online with hours wearing a headset.
For what we do, if the metaverse ever took off, I think we would still have a purpose in servicing affiliates but it would have turned a lot of industries upside down.
I actually believed many years ago that companies like Facebook had the power to fail. I just can’t believe how spectacularly they are doing it. When we see the rise of social sites like TikTok and the next big thing, this is why I think Facebook is at risk of failing and why I think the Metaverse itself is a risk to migrate to.
I love virtual conferences but as someone that owns a headset, I don’t really want to put one on to attend a virtual event.
StatsDrone provides its services in nearly all corners of the globe. Do you encounter any regulatory or legal challenges such as the gambling operators do, or are companies such as StatsDrone exempt from following local gambling regulations?
Our job is just to help affiliates get their data. We are like a browser in that sense. Users can store their data on their own server and we think we will want to help affiliates connect with any affiliate program regardless if they are working in a regulated or non-regulated way.
I do believe this is our chance to educate new affiliates on those regulations and try to build tools that can make them compliant.
StatsDrone is known for providing a plethora of statistical services such as tracking sales and commission statistics, specifically for iGaming affiliates. Are your services limited solely to the world of iGaming?
At the moment yes but we have intentions to move beyond iGaming. At the moment we are very busy with iGaming so I have no timeline for when we will move to test out other affiliate industries.
Among the plethora of high-end services, StatsDrone also operates a full-blown and professional news blog. Tell us, what inspired you to create this section, and what does it offer?
I’ve been in online marketing for a long time and I’ve previously run a small SEO agency. I understand the power of content and content marketing. I enjoy writing B2B content for affiliates and have done this for other sites before. I believe most SaaS companies should be doing this as well. It isn’t just to entertain our users but to create useful content that educates affiliates and helps us acquire new users.
Thanks to all the technological advancements we can confidently say that we are already living in the future. Where do you see StatsDrone 5 years from now, and what are some of the biggest goals for the company in 2023?
2023 is already set to be our busiest year to date. Without sharing everything we are working on, I can say I’m excited to say we’ll be launching a podcast this year to produce even more B2B content.
In 5 years from now, I do see affiliate marketing looking a lot different. I believe there will be other platforms affiliates can create content and that the work that they have to do today, will be perhaps automated more and maybe even done in a smarter way.