Mobile streaming apps: installs boom during summer of sports
Tiahn Wetzler, Senior Manager, Content & Editorial, Adjust, Aug 12, 2021.
After a year and a half of canceled global events, this summer was jam-packed with major sporting competitions such as the UEFA Euro 2020 (Euros), Wimbledon, and the Tokyo Olympics 2020. However, with COVID restrictions still in place, many fans didn’t get the chance to see their favorite players and teams in person, or to attend live viewing events. Instead, fans turned to mobile apps to watch top matches and events, get updates and enjoy the thrill of the competition. Off the back of this we've seen impressive trends in installs and sessions across video streaming apps, sports news, sports betting, and even sports games.
Video streaming apps are more popular than ever
While some live spectators were allowed into stadiums and arenas to watch football games at the Euros and tennis matches at Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 opted for no live audiences. This contributed to a spike in downloads of Olympic-related apps with streaming rights, including the official IOC Olympics app, Peacock (U.S.), and Sony LIV (India). According to recent App Annie data, downloads of streaming apps with rights jumped 13 times during the first week of the games. Downloads of the official Olympics app increased by 2270% in China, 1750% in South Korea, and 940% in India over the first three days of the event.
Conviva, a global streaming media intelligence company, also reported that the global time spent streaming the opening ceremony was 279% higher than that of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Surprisingly, mobile phones and desktops outperformed Connected TV (CTV) devices, capturing 27% of viewing time during the ceremony, compared to CTV’s 23%.
Adjust data mirrors this upward tick for video streaming apps, showing increased sessions and installs all throughout the summer of sports.
UEFA Euro 2020 and Wimbledon Championships 2021
The finals for the Euros and Wimbledon 2021 both took place on July 11, and it was one of the best days of the year for streaming installs, posting an increase of 46.5% compared to the 2021 average so far.
During the Euros run (from June 11 to July 11) streaming app downloads increased most in specific countries whenever their team was playing. On the day of the final match, when England played against Italy, installs in the UK spiked by 59.7% compared to the month’s average.
When France played Germany on June 15, France posted a whopping 103% boost in installs compared to the month's average. On June 28, when France played Switzerland, installs hiked up 62%. France also posted one of the highest install numbers for sports news apps. On June 15, when they had a match with Germany, installs were up 245% compared to France’s average for 2021 so far. Sessions were also up by 76% on June 19, when France had a match with Hungary.
Similarly, when Germany had a match with Portugal on June 19, streaming app installs in Germany saw a 196% boost. Germany played their last match against England on June 29 — and installs increased 152% compared to the country's average of UEFA month.
Many fans also downloaded sports news apps — on June 11, the start of UEFA Euro 2020, global installs of sports news apps reached new heights, increasing by 210%.
The Tokyo Olympics 2020
A week before the Olympic games started, streaming app installs across the globe began increasing. July 18 posted one of the best days, with installs up 84% compared to the 2021 average. On July 25, a few days after the games began, installs jumped by 58%.
Adjust data also indicates that many fans engaged with betting apps during the Olympic games. Due to the proliferation of legal sports betting in the U.S., this was the first year that Americans were able to place bets on the Olympics from their mobile devices. Our data shows that installs for gambling and sports betting apps in the U.S. on July 25 jumped by 26%. Installs also increased significantly in Australia and New Zealand, posting a 39% boost on the same day.
Watching and playing sports games on the rise
Watching top teams and players compete on the global stage may have encouraged sports lovers to play sports games on mobile. According to Adjust data, interest in sports apps grew impressively from June onwards. Installs in the week before the Olympics started were at an all time high, with an increase of 29% compared to the 2021 global average.
On June 11, when the Euros kicked off, the UK saw a 235% surge in installs of sports games compared to the yearly average. On the day of the finale one month later, installs jumped in many European countries. Downloads of sports games had a boost of 131% in Germany, 112% in France, 68% in Italy, and 69% in Spain.
Sports streaming on mobile is here to stay
Compared to previous years, traditional TV audiences have slumped in several markets. Viewing has become fragmented because of different time zones, COVID restrictions, and more available streaming options. With advancing 5G technology and the increased availability of more powerful mobile devices, video streaming of live sports on mobile is gaining traction quickly. This is why major broadcasters such as NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS have created their own streaming services — Peacock and Paramount+.
For marketers and developers looking to continue attracting users to their streaming apps as the space becomes more competitive, it’s vital to continue streamlining the viewing experience, personalizing content, and continuously improving UX. We’re excited to see how many fans tune in on mobile for the next major sporting events.
To learn more about streaming habits, take a look at our Streaming and Subscriptions Report 2021 and stay tuned as we keep a close eye on our data to identify changes, shifts and developments in user behavior.