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Mobile apps take center stage during Indian Premier League 2023

Cricket fans were on the edge of their seats as the Chennai Super Kings emerged victorious in the final match of the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on May 29. The IPL, a professional Twenty20 cricket league founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2008, has grown to become one of the most thrilling and lucrative cricket leagues in the world, attracting some of the best cricketers from across the globe. Notably, in 2020, "Indian Premier League" was the most searched term in India, according to Google's Year in Search Report.

The opening weekend of IPL 2023 garnered 1.47 billion video views, and the season's final match drew a peak concurrent viewership of 32 million on Viacom18's JioCinema app, the official streaming app for IPL. A recent study also revealed that 61% of IPL viewers prefer to watch matches on their smartphones, and 70% keep a watchful eye on their phones for match updates, food delivery, online discussions, and promotions related to the tournament. Moreover, digital ad revenue for IPL soared to INR 20 billion, marking a 33% increase from last year's revenue.

Year after year, mobile app usage during the Indian Premier League (IPL) has surged to new heights. We analyze app installs, sessions, and session lengths during the cricket season to give mobile marketers the insights needed to capitalize on the IPL's massive audience and drive higher revenue growth in 2024.

Online shopping booms during IPL

During the IPL, cricket fans across India turned to e-commerce apps to purchase team merchandise and cricket gear. E-commerce apps took advantage of this opportunity and provided users with a seamless and personalized shopping experience. Sponsorships also helped establish a strong connection with the sport.

According to Adjust data, e-commerce app installs in India rose by 54% during the IPL's eight-week season compared to the Q1 2023 average, while sessions saw a 68% increase. The numbers were even more impressive year-over-year, with installs and sessions during the IPL enjoying 130% and 231% growth, respectively.

IPL fuels growth in food delivery app usage

During the 2023 IPL season, Indian users demonstrated a serious appetite for food delivery apps, with installs spiking by 63%, compared to the Q1 2023 average. The numbers were equally impressive compared to the previous IPL season, with installs and sessions skyrocketing by 227% and 60% YoY, respectively. Users were also highly engaged in-app, with the average session length increasing from 9.39 minutes in IPL 2022 to 11.84 minutes during IPL 2023.

IPL sparks rise in sports betting

The IPL season has brought a new wave of users to the world of sports betting apps. In this season alone, installs and sessions surged by 53% and 63% compared to the Q1 2023 average. And compared to the previous IPL season, sessions jumped by a remarkable 90%.

Sports games add to the IPL experience

In addition to placing bets, IPL fans indulged in sports games on their mobile devices, adding a new dimension to their fandom. During the season, sports game installs were 14% higher than in Q1 2023, with an accompanying 9% increase in sessions. Session lengths climbed from 17.71 minutes during IPL 2022 to 18.92 minutes in 2023. So, while the players were sweating it out on the pitch, the fans were busy hitting sixes on mobile, making the IPL an immersive experience.

IPL boosts sports news app usage

During IPL 2023, cricket enthusiasts were closely following their sports news apps to stay up-to-date on the scores and match highlights. Installs surged by 15% compared to Q1 2023, suggesting Indian users’ desire to get their hands on the latest updates. Sessions also saw year-over-year growth of 7% during IPL. The average session length slightly increased from the previous season, jumping from 9.84 minutes to 9.9 minutes, indicating higher user engagement.

Streaming apps ride high on IPL viewership surge

Indian users spent more time on streaming apps than ever before during IPL, with installs increasing by 79% compared to the first quarter of 2023. Session lengths increased from an average of 16.53 minutes in Q1 to 19.11 minutes on the day of the first match. By the end of the season, the session length for all games averaged at 33.34 minutes. Adjust recorded the highest session length of 40.88 minutes on April 9 (Sunday) during matches between Gujarat Titans, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

IPL 2023 was a major source of entertainment for sports enthusiasts worldwide. With an ever-increasing audience, the IPL broke viewership records and earned considerable digital ad revenue. Mobile apps made it easier for fans to stay connected with their favorite teams and players, providing a one-stop-shop for all IPL-related needs, from online shopping and food delivery to sports betting and streaming. Mobile marketers can leverage these trends and create personalized experiences that cater to fans' needs and preferences.

To learn more about user trends in India and Southeast Asia and create effective marketing strategies, download your copy of Exploring INSEA's Mobile App Landscape ebook today.

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