This June, according to ironSource’s Fastest Growing Apps platform, sports became the second fastest growing category for the first time ever, due to both the large number of major sporting events this quarter as well as the recent shift towards live video streaming on mobile.
Live streaming enables new monetization opportunities
This quarter, apps broadcasting live sporting events -- such as FOX Sports GO, WatchESPN, NBC Sports, Sky Sports for Android and AFL Live Official App -- experienced significant growth, presenting these publishers with new monetization opportunities.
Publishers are taking advantage of the general shift in media consumption by offering their users live game coverage based on a subscription pricing model, banking on the fact that many fans today look to their phones as a source of live video content. Subscription fees offer an additional revenue stream on top of any IAPs or ads these publishers might have running in their apps during off-season periods.
Other major players, such as Twitter and Facebook, are also hopping on the bandwagon with recent deals to livestream major sporting events.
Official league apps explode
MLB.com At Bat, UEFA EURO 2016 Official App, Copa America Centenario 2016, and NBA 2015-16 all experienced massive growth this quarter, demonstrating the important role mobile applications play in professional sports marketing. Increasingly, mobile apps are serving as lucrative additional avenues for fan outreach and communication. If professional organizations, no matter the category, wish to remain competitive, they would be wise to do the same and create their own apps.
Spillover into game sports subcategory
In addition to catapulting the sports category into second place, the slew of recent sporting events have also precipitated the growth of sports games subcategory, marking it as one of the fastest growing subcategories within games for this first time this quarter. This includes games such as Dream League Soccer 2016, which successfully piggybacked on the popularity of the Euro. In addition, sports-themed games released under other subcategories, such as arcade game Cristiano Ronaldo: Kick'n’Run, experienced timely success as well.
To read more, check out our fastest growing apps insights in the press:
Demystifying the booming mobile advertising market (TechCrunch)