This was originally published at http://www.igbaffiliate.com/magazine/continental-shift
Asia has been a market of significant interest for many in the iGaming sector for several years. With growing wealth, internet connectivity and a long time gambling culture it seems as though there is great potential for expansion. This is of course true in many ways; however there are a unique set of pitfalls and challenges to operating in these markets. This piece could be seen as something of a crash course in the market place and sets up for future more in depth looks at the individual markets.
The only downside is that a lot more affiliates and operators are looking to move into these markets in the next few months so the market is not going to be nearly as soft as it was even a year ago should the current trends continue.
In previous articles I’ve tended to focus on Korea and China, due to the vast difference in Search Engines with Naver and Baidu respectively holding the majority of the market shares. However, we’re also going to take a look at Japan and India, both countries still hold very good opportunities given the right marketing strategy, and India possibly has the lowest barriers to entry for a western affiliate.
Why India, Isn’t It Just For Spammers?
The fact of the matter is there is some truth in the stereotype, there is certainly a larger amount of “black hat” tactics in search, and it is one of the higher risk zones for bonus scammers. That aside, it doesn’t mean that the region does not have a wealth of opportunity.
You should also note that you can rank in India without vast swathes of spam, despite common misconceptions about the market place Google still functions in the same manner as it does here. This puts new affiliates at a significant advantage (at time of writing) as a lot of the established competition has been penalised in the last penguin update.
Your Site Can Be In English!
This is the really good thing about the Indian market, whilst I would say it doesn’t hurt to get the site translated into Hindi or one of the other various dialects, you can initially enter the market with an English site, significantly lowering the risk levels and time involved with entry. This way you can look at translations once you’re starting to see some ROI from the market place.
Growth in Poker
India has shown consistent growth figures in poker over the last 10 years and whilst not as high in some “boom” years for the sport in other countries there is inherent value in the consistency of market growth.
India has a large market for “other” games; things like competitive Chess, Bridge and Rummy are quite popular leading to a much wider variety of games to promote. This should be taken into account when moving into the market.
Can I Be “Big In Japan”?
The main differences between Japan and the west is that the dominant Search Engine is Yahoo! and site design. Taking these two things into account it is very similar to working in any western market with a difference in language.
There are games which are more traditionally Japanese such as Panchinko, but the offering of these online wouldn’t really be comparable to slots in the west so it probably isn’t worth getting bogged down in this sector although several affiliates have done in the past seeing it as a “quick win”.
The real advantage to Japan over other Asian markets is the fact that you can actually run PPC campaigns although there are several restrictions. But, they’re not nearly as limited as most other Asian countries where for example you are only going to be able to run these campaigns in the Forex sector.
That doesn’t mean affiliates can just waltz in, but the opportunity for slipping through the system, or playing the game properly are both there, unlike the regions where the advertising controls are much tighter.