The days are getting longer and the sun is extending its stay; spring is almost here. The longer days and warmer temps are highly coveted during the cold winter months, but the beginning of spring brings another excitement for many — March Madness. 

Streaming Sweet Spots

Last year, the annual NCAA college basketball tournament had a 10% increase in household viewership, and over 100 million live streams which was an all-time record in tournament streams.¹ Cyclical events like March Madness often hit a sweet spot for entertainment and streaming apps. Even the Super Bowl in February — which had the second lowest number of viewers since 2009² — was the most live-streamed Super Bowl with an average 3.4 million viewers per minute, a 30% increase from 2019.³ While popular sporting events continue to increase viewership, specifically on mobile, how can marketers strategize around these hit entertainment events to drive conversions? 

This year, consumers will spend around 680 billion hours in entertainment and video player apps on Android phones alone, an increase of nearly 560 billion hours from 2019.⁴ Cyclical events are a driving force behind the growth of ad spend in the entertainment vertical, because where there are eyes, the ad dollars will follow. More mobile viewers tuning in to events like the Super Bowl, March Madness, the Olympics, you name it, are driving increased engagement with these streaming apps, and should be key audiences for marketers to target. 

Strategies for Streaming Apps 

Leading up to March Madness, plan your UA budget around the event, and continuously increase your budget during the tournament. Budget increases during these big events drive more users to your app, so hit users with ads while they are searching for an app to stream the games. Working with a popular streaming app, we drove an increase of 4x traffic volume for a typical weekend featuring an NCAA football playoff game. Remember to use relevant keywords in your Search Ads, product page, and promotional text, strategizing what users will be searching for in relation to this event. Making your product page more playful with an updated seasonal app icon, screenshots, and copy can also drive conversions by increasing your likelihood of getting featured. In addition, consider giving users a free trial to encourage more subscriptions for the remainder of the tournament. Include these deals in your promotional text to further entice users.

Before you fill out your bracket, plan your marketing strategy around cyclical events like March Madness to fully take advantage of the increase in mobile viewers. Hitting these streaming-heavy events, and increasing your budget to do so, will drive more conversions. Start here to connect with our team of mobile experts and start driving quality conversions at volume.  

Sources:
1. https://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2019-04-23/mens-final-four-viewership-attendance-numbers
2. https://www.sportsmediawatch.com/super-bowl-ratings-historical-viewership-chart-cbs-nbc-fox-abc/
3. https://www.foxsports.com/presspass/latest-news/2020/02/03/super-bowl-liv-fox-draws-viewership-102-million-across-television-digital-platforms
4. https://venturebeat.com/2019/11/13/app-annie-5-predictions-for-mobile-app-and-gaming-success-in-2020/

Note: This post was originally published in February 2019 and has been updated for accuracy. 

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