Football fans less likely to use apps during Super Bowl, study finds
- Football fans aren't as likely as general consumers to use mobile apps while watching the Super Bowl, a study suggests. Only 14% of football fans will use social media during the big game, compared with 39% of general consumers, according to a survey that mobile video ad network AdColony shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The most popular mobile activities for football fans during the Super Bowl are gaming apps (16%) and news and sports apps (15%). In contrast, general consumers favor apps like texting (39%) and browsing sports apps (24%) during the big game.
- The most popular ways to watch the game are TV (87%), connected TV (12%) and smartphones (7%). Less than half (42%) of respondents said it's not important to keep up with the game on multiple devices, while almost one-third (31%) said it's moderately or very important.
The lower engagement among football fans with mobile apps during the Super Bowl supports the idea that regular viewers of the sport mostly rely on TV for game viewing. That's good news for advertisers that are estimated to pay more than $5 million to air a 30-second TV spot during the championship. More than half (60%) of Super Bowl viewers can be considered "hardcore football fans" as they watch at least one game a week during the regular season, according to AdColony.
Super Bowl viewership also skews older than the broader population with 83% of viewers between the ages of 35 and 74, according to AdColony. Less than half (48%) of Americans are in that older age group, Census data show, which means millennials and Generation Z are much less likely to watch the Super Bowl. The higher usage of mobile apps among general consumers indicates advertisers are more likely to reach this younger, tech-savvy audience on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram. The NFL last year reversed three years of TV ratings declines, which may have been partly attributable to a Supreme Court decision in May to strike down a 1992 law prohibiting states from legalizing sports gambling.
CBS Sports, which will air the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, also will stream the game on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app and CBS All Access, an over-the-top service that costs $5.99 a month after a one-week free trial. Those distribution platforms may help to reach the growing audience of cord-cutters who also don't have a TV antenna. Viewership of National Football League games on digital platforms jumped 65% during the 2018 regular season from the prior year, the league said in a report. The number of audiences streaming on phones has increased 147% compared to 2017 and streaming via connected TV devices has grown 54%, according to statistics cited in the NFL report.
Meanwhile, about one-fifth (18%) of consumers will host a Super Bowl party, while another third (32%) may have one, AdColony found. Among people who are hosting a get-together, the most popular mobile activities for party planning are grocery shopping (25%), making invitations (18%) and food delivery (16%). That likely means pizza-delivery chains like Domino's and Pizza Hut and food-delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash can expect a surge of mobile orders on Super Bowl Sunday.