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Russia World Cup 2018: An App Marketer’s Dream

The 2018 World Cup is over. There were some amazing goals, unforgettable last minute definitions, crazy memes, an unexpected finalist,and a new screen: your smartphone.

Before the beginning of the tournament we launched a whitepaper  titled “The App marketer’s Guide to the World Cup” in collaboration with App Annie. The whitepaper analyzed how increased mobile phone use was going to impact the tournament experience and highlighted a number of insights for marketers to leverage during the World Cup excitement.
 

  • There are one billion more smartphones in the world in 2018 than during the Brazil  World Cup of 2014.
  • This year, most countries had at least one tv network offering official live streaming of the World Cup matches.
  • Previous big events like the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics showed that viewers were leveraging their smartphones to get things done during the games.

 

Now that we know that France is the new World Cup champion, it’s time to take a look at the most interesting app insights and takeaways from the 2018 Fifa World Cup.  

 

The year of live streaming

 

According to App Annie, of the top 10 Sports apps in the US during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup (June 10-30, 2018), Telemundo Deportes, FOX Sports Go, and FOX Sports  scored 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively for average megabyte per user – which is an indication of users live streaming World Cup matches on mobile. These 3 apps are also new entrants into the top 10 apps by total time spent compared to the 3 weeks directly prior.
 

The biggest telecommunications company in Argentina, Telecom, reported that their OTT service Flow  grew 20% during the tournament, and their app reported 35% of the total accesses. Another interesting fact is that the most popular streamed matches were not the Argentina national team matches, but were for games like Nigeria vs Iceland, Portugal vs Spain and Egypt vs Uruguay. Meaning that this World Cup extended its reach compared to previous World Cup editions where people mostly watched their favorite teams on TV. For their App users, 77% was from their mobile apps, 16% from its desktop App, and 7% from tablets.

 

In the US, over 22 million hours were spent in the top 10 Android Sports apps during the first 3 weeks of the World Cup, up 15% from the 3 weeks directly prior. Telemundo reported that the match between Argentina and Croatia attracted 4.3 million live stream viewers, becoming the most-watched spanish-language live stream in history. In the UK, 6 million hours were spent on the same category, up 65% from the 3 weeks prior, while in Brazil 12 million hours were spent  in the top 10 Sports apps.
 

Similar to what happened in the first week of the Winter Olympics, during the first 4 weeks containing World Cup matches (June 10 - July 7), the top 10 food and drink apps by iOS and Google Play in the US saw 15% more downloads than the 4 weeks prior to the tournament kick off. 3 of those 5 apps were delivery apps: UberEats, DoorDash and Grubhug.

 

Next to the Neymar Challenge, this World Cup will be remembered as the one when  smartphones took the fan experience to a different level, and when the  brands who were able to capitalize on it took the stage.

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