Cricket fans are buzzing with excitement this month (October) as the hotly awaited ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 gets underway after a four-year gap.

With 10 nations competing, the tournament is expected to attract huge numbers of viewers as it plays out at 10 grounds across India – from Dharamsala in the north, to Bangalore and Chennai in the south – between now and November 20th.

Apart from hosts India and reigning world champions England, the competing countries are New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.

While cricket fans from all over the world will be watching (cricket is the second most followed sport globally), in India the home crowds are set to break all records thanks to the mass popularity the sport enjoys and the national patriotism it inspires.

In fact, the majority of the population in India follows cricket, making it the most watched sport in the country; the Indian Premier League (IPL) typically draws over 100 million watchers per match and the Indian cricket team has 1.4 billion fans.

India also leads in live matches viewed online, with the India versus New Zealand semi-final match in the last World Cup in 2019 making a world record for the highest livestream viewership ever.

In fact, the 2019 World Cup attracted a global audience of 1.6 billion for live coverage and 706 million unique broadcast audiences, making it the most-viewed ICC event.

The event’s average time watched per unique viewer also increased from the 2015 World Cup by 42%.

Another new record was set in June this year when nearly 124 million viewers in India watched the live TV broadcast of the ICC World Test Championship Final: official broadcaster Star Sports said this was the highest ever reach garnered for any test match and 32 per cent higher than the previous ICC WTC Final in 2021.

An Opportunity Not to be Missed

Clearly, the Cricket World Cup presents an unmissable opportunity for app marketers and advertisers to gain center-stage exposure to a massive, engaged, and highly passionate audience, especially in India.

Promoting a sports app within this World Cup period will undoubtedly bring dividends, particularly given the huge growth in popularity of such apps that already exists in India.

Indeed, over the last decade in India, the popularity of fantasy sports gaming has increased at a phenomenal rate and it now stands as the biggest fantasy sports market worldwide.

According to a market research study published by Custom Market Insights (CMI), the size and share revenue of the India fantasy sports market was expected to reach USD 28.98 billion in 2023, growing to around USD 72.06 billion by 2030.

CMI said that the increasing number of annual sports events and leagues in India, such as the IPL T20, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League, and ICC Cricket World Cup, along with the rising popularity of various media channels where experts analyze trends related to fantasy sports, continues to be instrumental in aiding this growth.

Other factors driving growth of the India fantasy sports market include expanding internet connectivity and affordability of smartphones.

The India fantasy sports market can be segmented based on sports type into cricket, football, and others, with the cricket segment dominating.

Sports apps are also in growth globally, with the global sports app market size estimated at USD 3.66 billion in 2022 and expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.9% from 2023 to 2030 to reach USD 8.03 billion.

Seizing the Moment

Given the size of the opportunity, there will certainly be many apps competing for audience attention during the Cricket World Cup, and not just apps related to sports.

Food delivery apps can also grab a slice of the World Cup action, with fans keen to order takeaway meals to enjoy whilst watching the games.

So how do you get your app to stand out in such a crowded market?

The answer is through on-device app recommendations facilitated by discovery platforms such as Appnext.

Breakthroughs in AI-powered technology mean recommendations can be truly unique to the person receiving them, so, for example, sports apps can be shown to users when they have been searching for match results or fixtures, or perhaps watching a game on their smartphone.

Through Appnext’s app discovery platform, app marketers can target specific audiences for their campaign based on parameters such as device model, location, age and gender. 

Appnext’s patented ‘Timeline’ technology analyzes behavioral patterns and intentions and displays recommendations that are personal and contextual according to the user’s needs throughout their day.

Such targeted advertising aimed specifically at high-intent users gives app developers and marketers the best chance possible of converting them into active users.

Given that Appnext has partnered with leading mobile carriers and Android manufacturers such as Oppo, Vivo, Samsung and Xiaomi – which have a combined worldwide market share of 48% – it couldn’t be easier to get your app noticed by a new user audience of billions this autumn.

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