How IPL Season 14 has a lot in store for App Marketers: AppsFlyer

Despite the absence of stadium crowds, the biggest sporting event in India – Indian Premier League – has grown more significantly than ever this year, and with it, the revenue opportunity for marketers and businesses.

AppsFlyer’s IPL 2021 Report analyses the historic shift in mobile app consumer behaviour in 2020, fuelled by the pandemic, particularly during IPL Season 13. The study represents a comprehensive account of data and insights covering 2.1 billion installs of 2,501 apps with at least 1,000 monthly Non-Organic installs (NOI), during IPL seasons in 2019 and 2020, marking it as a lucrative opportunity for marketers in 2021. Driven by lockdown and last season’s delay, the fans’ soaring online enthusiasm is beyond question. The data sample also includes 292.5 billion app opens and 1.1 billion remarketing conversions (app opens).

As pandemic forced most of us to stay at home, consumers moved to buy more products and services through mobile apps, thereby making 2020 a significant year in surged IPL revenues. According to the report, revenue-driven campaigns yielded double the paying users compared to organic installs for the gaming category while organic installs shot up in Food & Drink, Finance, and Shopping category. For Gaming, remarketed users demonstrated 30% more retention, a rate that has been consistent over the past two years, indicating marketers to practice it further for gaming apps.



With nearly half of Indian Internet users during the pandemic being first-time online shoppers, the ratio of paying users (NOI) in shopping apps went up by 20% and the organic paying users nearly doubled.

The twin drivers of a pandemic lockdown and the rise of live watch parties aggressively fuelled demand for food deliveries and brands across food & drink witnessed tripled (+175%) NOI. Remarketed users showed 57% more retention than non-remarketed users. With the surge in new users, remarketing is highly recommended to shore up brand value and boost retention for Food & drink category.

Consumers’ pent-up enthusiasm led to greater success of user acquisition campaigns for gaming category in pre and post-season and food & drinks category in pre- and mid-season, while mid-season drove revenue campaigns for gaming and shopping, with organic and in-app purchases hitting their peak in Week 5.

The FinTech category saw more organic installs, sessions, and daily active users in the pre-season and the early season – a change from previous years. As NOI was heavily concentrated in the weeks after IPL both in 2019 and 2020, marketers may want to shift UA efforts to the early season in 2021. Year over year, 26.39% fewer Finance apps remarketed in 2020, despite remarketing proving highly effective, with 56% higher 30-day user retention. Marketers may want to resume remarketing to avoid losing their newly won users.

Entertainment category witnessed the influx of new organic users in 2020 and showed a 30-day retention rate over three times that of non-remarketed users. The in-app purchases tend to rise in Week 3, cresting in Weeks 5 and 6 therefore marketers might want to start UA campaigns earlier and ramp up revenue campaigns in the early weeks. 

Sanjay Trisal, Country Manager, AppsFlyer India, commented, “IPL is India’s biggest sporting event and provides a plethora of opportunities for app marketers to align their strategies with the rapid shift in audience behaviour during the actual matches. The IPL 2021 report not only analyses the potential for marketers in the overall game, but also provides trends and opportunities that can be leveraged as the season progresses. An interesting facet of this report is the section on game day mobile user behaviour that syncs each app category towards the time of the day and talks about which apps peak during a particular time.”

Game Day Mobile User Insights:

  1. Gaming apps witnessed a second-highest daily spike in sessions and revenue from noon to 2 pm and saw a peak in revenue from 2 pm to 8 pm.
  2. Food & Drink spiked highest at lunch, with its second-highest daily peak in revenue and sessions from noon to 2 pm. It also remained higher than any other vertical in the evening with 7 pm to 10 pm accounting for 30% of sessions, whereas 6 pm to 10 pm accounting for over 40% of revenue.
  3. Entertainment thrived during the 4 hours between 7 pm and 11 pm accounting for 31% of revenue and over 42% of sessions. 15% of sessions happened post-match, that is, from 10 pm to midnight.
  4. Shopping apps also shot up during evening matches, with almost 30% of revenue booked between 7 pm and 11 pm and continuing strong post-match from 10 pm to 1 am, accounting for almost 19% of income.
  5. Finance app revenue begins to climb at 10 am, tapering off only by 7-8 pm. This 10-hour period accounts for nearly three-quarters of all Finance revenue. Open sessions are highest 10 am to 2 pm. Over 28% of open sessions for Finance are logged between 6 pm and 10 pm.

IPL marks the busiest time of the year for users to engage with mobile apps. With no actual spectators at the ongoing IPL 2021, there is a vast opportunity for app marketers to tap and engage with the digital audience who will be glued to their screens.

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