The Indian Fantasy League Cricket Fever

  • UPDATED: 17 July 2023
  • 7 min read

Reading Time: 7 minutes

India’s Appetency For Cricket

300 years. 3,600 months. 15,700 weeks. 1,09,500 days. 26,28,003 hours. 15,77,84,760 minutes. 9,46,08,00,000 seconds. And counting.

That’s how long Indians have adored cricket. Brought to the country in the 1700s by the British, the adoration for the sport holds true for practically all formats of international cricket today- Test matches, One-Day Internationals, and Twenty20 Internationals.

An event that has been one of the most favored forums to celebrate the spirit of cricket for over a decade now is the Indian Premier League (IPL).

India’s Super Bowl, or IPL, is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated sporting events of the year for every cricket-loving Indian. The atmosphere in India specifically is one of celebration and festivities, where cheers of slogans like “Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo,” “Duniya Hila Denge,” and “Halla Bol,” among many others, resonate in the air for close to 2 months throughout this T-20 league.

Since the first edition launched back in 2008, the widely televised event brings in multitudes of viewers from across the world- all tuning in to watch state-of-the-art cricket, every single year.

IPL 2023 has been one of the key driving factors in the Indian Fantasy Cricket League Apps' success

Disney Star, TATA IPL 2023’s official television broadcaster, brought in 23% more people compared to the previous IPL season, with a collective reach of 30.7 crore viewers during the first ten matches! This doesn’t even include the digital viewership coming in from JioCinema!

If the numbers aren’t proof enough, the historical legacy of the sport and the amalgamation of skill and entertainment successfully supplement the love this country has for all things cricket.

Fantasy Sports And Cricket – What’s All The Fuss About?

It’s no secret that India has long been a sports-crazed nation. However, the fanaticism around cricket is unrivaled. This extreme passion for the sport, along with rising smartphone adoption, has propelled India’s online gaming market to remarkable heights.

So it’s no surprise that the adoration of the sport comes across all digital touchpoints, and this is evident by the interest in the fantasy cricket apps domain as well.

Indian Fantasy League Cricket Apps

A FICCI-EY report projects that the Indian fantasy sports market is predicted to be valued at $3.7 billion by 2024 and increase at a CAGR of 32%.

Additionally, the 2023 season of Indian Premier League (IPL) is expected to have a significant positive impact on fantasy sports companies like Dream11, My11Circle, and MPL. In 2023, these businesses are anticipated to generate gross gaming revenues of $2,900 to $3,100 crore.

IPL has been one of the key driving factors in the Indian Fantasy Cricket League Apps' success

Plain Sailing Revenue Model

These fantasy gaming apps have a rather straightforward revenue model. The app/website serves as an organizer for a variety of competitions that are categorized according to the transaction amount and number of participants.

The app/website levies an entry fee, which is often 20% of the total cash raised in a given competition, in exchange for connecting players with similar profiles, guaranteeing, and organizing these competitions. Thus, fantasy gaming apps will always be profitable, provided that there are enough players in a competition.

Catching Eyeballs From Left, Right, And Center

Up until a decade ago, mobile gaming was limited to those in large metropolitans.  But the situation has significantly changed since then. Numerous studies have revealed that over the past few years, there has been an upsurge in the number of gamers in Tier-II cities in India.

In line with that, only 8% and 11% of the gross gaming revenue from fantasy sports apps came from metro and tier-1 cities, respectively. But over 50% of the transacting users belonged to tier-2 cities, and 31% to tier-3 and beyond cities.

Even individuals from the most remote corners of India have started taking part in skill-based fantasy sports leagues in order to make some quick cash from the comfort of their homes.

Did you know: Gross gaming revenue from fantasy sports apps increased by 55% to $2,260 crore in 2022 from $1,460 crore in 2021?!

India’s First Fantasy Sports Unicorn– Dream11

Like many other successful businesses, the beginning is always rooted in disrupting an industry and changing the game. Dream11 began on the same note. What started off as a passion project for two aspiring entrepreneurs and diehard fans of sports back in 2008 is now India’s first Fantasy Sports unicorn!

Following the introduction of freemium services in 2012, the fantasy gaming platform recorded 1 million registered players in just two years. This number jumped to 2 million in 2016 and eventually grew to 45 million in 2018.

Since then, Dream11 has continued its growth momentum ever since and in FY22; the brand clocked a gross revenue rise of over 50% and crossed the Rs 4,000 crore mark.

Indian Fantasy League Cricket App, Dream11

An Unrivalled CX That Brings in The Big Bucks

The fantasy sports app has come a long way since launching back in 2008.

The initial intent was to have an ad-based model in place with a season-long format, but that wasn’t as well received in the market. This prompted the founders of the app to switch gear to daily matches that allowed players to wager on those.

Indian Fantasy League Cricket App, Dream11 has one of the smoothest UXs in the market.

The app has one of the cleanest and most straightforward user interfaces out there that comes with a plethora of sports options to apply your skill to, with Cricket, Football, and Kabaddi topping the charts of popularity.

Other fantasy games on the platform include Basketball, Volleyball, Hockey, Baseball, American Football, and even, Handball. As soon as you log into the app, you are provided with a list of upcoming matches that you can join and play.

The buck doesn’t just stop there. Dream11 went on to become the title sponsor of the 2020 season of IPL. This resulted in the brand becoming almost synonymous with the most sought-after cricket event of the year!

Needless to say, the brand recognition that comes with being associated with IPL’s name is quite remarkable.

Climbing The Growth Ladder, a Million Users at a Time

Propelled by the excitement around IPL, Dream11 clocked a whopping 12.93 Million downloads in April, which is a 200% increase from the month before that.

Dream 11 App Downloads

The usage of the app also grew significantly since the 2023 season of IPL began, with the Monthly Active Users, or MAU, and the Daily Active Users, or DAUs, touching almost 28 million users and 10.4 million users, respectively.

Monthly Active Users: Dream11

Daily Active Users: Dream11

The Journey Till Date (Bumps And All)

After an initial bump in the legal road back, Dream11 surfaced back stronger. This was evident after the Supreme Court upheld the rulings of three different high courts (i.e., the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2017, the Bombay High Court in 2019, and the Rajasthan High Court in 2020) that invalidated laws prohibiting fantasy sports under the guise of gambling or betting.

Dream11 persevered and reached an astonishing milestone, surpassing 10.56 million concurrent users on the first day of IPL 2023. This, coupled with garnering a registered user base of over 180 million sports fans, speaks to the fantasy sports app’s resolve to steamroll past competition ahead into the future.

The Blueprint for Success in the Fantasy Sports Industry

While the roads haven’t always been the easiest to maneuver, times have changed, and the ecosystem players in the country have forged ahead with determination.

Indian Fantasy League Cricket industry is only going to continue growing in the coming years

Fantasy Sports: A Catalyst for the Sports Economy, a report by Deloitte India and the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, stated that India has grown to be the market with the highest rate of growth in the world, with over 300 fantasy sports platforms having a user base of over 180 million, or almost three times the size of North America. Additionally, between FY22 and FY27, the industry is estimated to contribute a total of Rs 29,000 crores to the entire sports economy!

Such surmounting interest in the industry, though, points to increasing competition. There’s always going to be something new in the market to entice players and poach their attention.

What is going to set a brand apart from its competitors is the user experience. Playing the long game by implementing effective retention strategies is the way to ensure you’re ways away from the click-to-uninstall button.

Customer engagement that caters to very precise segments can notably increase the chances of becoming a player’s favored fantasy sports app. Well-engaged players are valuable assets and will always come back to your app.

Want to ace the engagement game and clock skyrocketing success for your fantasy sports app? Book a demo with MoEngage today!

Dive deeper into the world of all things gaming and retention:  

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