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FIFA World Cup 2022 Trophy

The World Cup’s impact on consumer app trend behaviour

By Alexandre Pham, VP EMEA, Adjust

With the FIFA World Cup taking the world by storm, football fans across every region turned to their
phones to keep up with the action. Many turned to streaming apps to see how their national teams
fared in the highly anticipated matches, others turned to sports news apps to read the latest highlights,
while still others opted for take-out food to keep them satisfied during the viewing experience.
With more consumers than ever turning to mobile apps during the World Cup, there is a huge
opportunity for app marketers to connect with and engage consumers through tailored, localised
campaigns. To figure out just how much influence the World Cup – and other iconic sporting events – can
have on mobile app trends, Adjust and app intelligence provider Apptopia joined forces. Here’s what
they found.


Streaming app installs spiked globally during opening day
While TV remains king for watching live sports, mobile apps and in particular streaming apps, have seen
a major surge in their use as a medium to watch the World Cup. In fact, day one of the World Cup
(November 20) was one of the best days of the month for streaming app installs worldwide, posting an
increase of 46% on the average day for streaming in November. Over the whole first week of the FIFA
World Cup, streaming app installs saw significant growth globally, with the average streaming installs
from November 20th to 28th 41% higher than the month’s average.
Unsurprisingly, streaming app installs soared during key matches. On the day that Denmark played
Tunisia, Mexico played Poland and France played Australia, installs in EMEA spiked by a massive 70%
compared to the month’s average.
On November 26 when Poland played Saudi Arabia and France played Denmark, installs in EMEA rose
by 43% compared to the month’s average. Though on the day that Switzerland played Cameroon,
Portugal played Ghana and Brazil played Serbia, installs in EMEA increased by just 17% compared to the
month’s average.
According to Apptopia, ITVX was the most popular streaming app during the World Cup, seeing the
greatest number of app downloads of any streaming app in the UK in the month of November, totalling
a huge 890,397 downloads. FIFA+ followed closely behind with 803,767 downloads, and BBC iPlayer saw
a respectable 766,390 downloads during the month. But in terms of sessions, BBC iPlayer led the way
with a huge 1.434 million sessions during November, compared to 1.428 million for ITVX and 452,000 for
FIFA+.


Sessions and session length also saw an uptick
Users have also been spending a longer time on streaming apps throughout the world cup than normal.
On the day the FIFA World Cup started, global streaming sessions (i.e. the number of times the app has
been used for at least two seconds) increased by 6% compared to the November average. In EMEA this
rose to 9%.
The global average session length for streaming apps in November 2021 was 32.2 minutes and it jumped
to 32.85 minutes in November 2022. In EMEA, session length for streaming apps averaged at 30.99
minutes in November 2021, whereas the average session length in November 2022 hovered at 32.26.
This is much higher than in other areas of the world. For example, the average session length in APAC in
November 2022 was 29.65 minutes, but LATAM leads the way with a massive 35.23 minutes in
November 2022


Consumers turned to sports news apps, sports games and food delivery apps
Sports news apps offer users the latest sports news, scores, live sport and highlights in real-time on an
easy-to-use interface. For many, it’s considered the best way to follow all the latest sporting action
without actually watching the game.
It’s therefore no surprise that sports news apps saw a significant peak in the first week of the World Cup
globally. On the first day of the tournament, installs of sports news apps grew 72% compared to the
month’s average, and 56% during the first week..
Sports gaming apps also fared well during the tournament, as global installs of sports games were 18%
higher than the November average. and 9% higher during the first week.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, food and drink apps saw a boost over the course of the competition, with
observers likely hosting gatherings with friends and family to celebrate the event. On the first day of the
World Cup, installs of food delivery apps increased by 15% compared to the November average.
Like any sporting event, we all have our favorites to win, but the World Cup is also one of the most
popular betting events in the world. The first day of the World Cup saw installs of betting and gambling
apps increase by 8% compared to the November average. During the first week, installs were 5% higher
than the months average.


Why The World Cup’s Influence on Streaming Apps is an important lesson for marketers
The latest results from Adjust and Apptopia show that mobile device users are certain to spend more
time on mobile apps – from sports news, sports games, food delivery to streaming, during the World
Cup. A major sporting event like the FIFA World Cup allows mobile apps to make big changes, get
creative, and boost sales. Although apps can rely on tried-and-true tactics, such as sales and promotion
codes, apps can stand out by incorporating tailored messaging or creatives in their campaigns relating to
the tournament, and focusing on localisation. The key for a better return on investment (ROI) is a full-
funnel advertising strategy tailored with the right and relevant ads at every touchpoint in the user’s journey.

Research

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