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Ganna Guseva, product owner for Promotional Tools at Playson, explains how the modern world of ‘digital everything’ has shortened the attention spans of players, and why quick bursts of excitement are the key to increased engagement.

The trend of shorter attention spans is a well-documented. In the age of digital technology, we are constantly bombarded with tons of information, notifications, emails, and messages.

Our concentration jumps from one thing to another like a monkey swinging in the jungles, and we learn to absorb new things quickly and at a high-level, not in depth.

We have also been told that multi-tasking is good, but when we try to focus on multiple factors at once, our attention becomes divided, and we may not be able to finish any of the tasks.

In the entertainment world, people quickly lose interest in products and are constantly wanting to try new and different experiences. The average attention span has decreased over time. In 2000, it was around 12 seconds, but by 2013 it had decreased to just 8 seconds.

This decline is often attributed to the proliferation of digital devices and the constant influx of information they provide. How often have you scrolled through your phone when watching a film at the same time? We live in the second screen era, but some individuals go beyond that further when they have a laptop or tablet device on the go.

Many people today are accustomed to constant stimulation and instant gratification, and this can make it difficult for products and entertainment to hold their concentration for long periods of time.

This poses a huge challenge for businesses and content creators who are trying to engage with a target audience and keep their interest.

How it impacts the iGaming industry

One consequence of this trend is that people are more likely to switch between different forms of entertainment and media, often seeking out new and novel experiences. For example, a person might start watching a movie on Netflix but then switch to browsing social media on their phone after just a few minutes.

The attention span of players is having a significant impact on the iGaming industry, particularly in terms of player engagement and retention. Players are becoming more easily distracted and are likely to lose interest in a game more quickly.

Players are exhibiting what we call a Netflix-style of thinking. They are finding it hard to focus on one game for a long period of time, and instead desire quick wins and want lots of action on the go.

Another implication is the time spent on enjoying mobile gaming. Several studies have shown that the average mobile gaming session lasts between just 6-8 minutes, which results in a very short window for operators to engage and retain the player.

In addition, there are a growing number of non-traditional players that do not understand how modern day slots work. This emerging demographic has made the task of sustaining player engagement even harder.

This challenging combination results in casino operators needing to add new games very often, provide extremely engaging content to onboard and retain this category of players.

How to win this battle

To counteract this, many iGaming companies are focusing on creating games that are more engaging and immersive, implementing features such as social gaming, multiplayer options, and personalised rewards systems. These concepts are shown to help keep hold of a player’s concentration and see them coming back to play.

Another strategy that has proven to be effective for operators is the use of shorter, more frequent games, which can be more appealing to players with shorter attention spans. These games are designed to be played quickly, with the potential for quick wins or instant gratification.

For instance, action-packed tournaments that run several times per day and all-year round are increasingly popular with online casinos and their players.

These quick-fire events offer a shorter period of entertainment that are just as satisfying for a wide audience, while additional rewards that run over a longer timeframe ensure they participate in future tournaments, as they need to collect points to climb the leaderboard.

Introducing Short Races by Playson

In response to these latest behavioural trends, we wanted to diversify our portfolio with the development of a fast-paced and short-lived tool that appeals to the short attention of modern players and squeezes into an average mobile gaming session.

Very similar to shorter episodes seen on streaming platforms like Netflix, the overall experience is fast and clear.

Following discussions with our partners, it was clear that a promotional tool that could offer a short burst of excitement alongside the core slot gameplay would be highly beneficial. We conducted experiments with short tournaments and our analytics showed positive results.

Playson’s newly launched Short Races promo tool features the same win mechanics and characteristics you find in short-lived tournaments. In order to maximise player engagement, the new product will include highly motivating prize pools, where a player can receive an award at almost any time.

One of the benefits of Short Races is that the events are designed to be fast-paced and exciting, creating a sense of competition among players. They are also a great way for online casinos to attract new players and retain existing ones.

Overall, the iGaming industry is constantly evolving to keep up with changes in technology and user behaviour, and attention spans are just one factor that companies need to consider when developing new games and features.

By staying attuned to the needs and preferences of their players, operators can continue to grow and thrive in a rapidly changing landscape.

Ganna Guseva is a product manager with over 10 years’ experience and holds a Master’s degree in International Economy and Finance. She has a proven track record of overseeing multiple products, starting from a gaming platform and finishing with the launch of features. Anna is highly efficient in delivering successful projects, initiating new concepts through to its launch and monetisation.

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