The trend of Fantasy Sports Apps in India

Emergence of fantasy sports in India

Technology has proven to be a life changing force in every era. It has changed the course of human life and always surprised us with some unseen phenomena. Sports, which are an integral part of the human experience, have always been evolving through technology. In today’s world sports fans experience a whole new level of entertainment. Apart from lively experience of watching and yelling over their favorite sports on the television screens now the fans can participate in the sports with the help of fantasy sports applications. So now the fun of sports is more than just watching, it has reached the next level which is participation.

The world is full of passionate and dedicated die hard sports fans investing their emotions into hundreds of sports being played in different countries. The phenomenon of new age fantasy sports started a decade ago with fantasy sports being launched as web apps. Just the next step after that was getting all that as a mobile app is just an icing on the cake. 

Fantasy sports app allows the user to play their favourite sports game based on their knowledge and skills (online). Users can choose a virtual team of professional players (who play the particular game in actual life). A sports fan’s virtual team competes with other virtual teams created by other sports fans. A sports fan can plan the playing ability of their favourites (players) and expect a outlined result. With the amount of participation of fans in engaging with fantasy sports apps one can judge that it is entertaining and thrilling beyond expectation. In the real hectic world this small distraction or participation is proving to be a venue of not just entertainment but of winning, earning and socializing with other sports fans.  

There are many types of sports being played around the world as a platform for fantasy sports. Below are few famous ones:

  • Football
  • Cricket
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Hockey

The concept of fantasy sports app is prominent in countries like the USA, Mexico, Canada, UK, France, Germany and Italy. After establishing a strong market it’s expanded with new users in countries such as China, India, Japan and Africa. America has the largest share of 58% followed by Europe at second place. 

Opportunity & Market

According to the Federation of Indian Fantasy sports currently there are 70+ fantasy apps with 100 million users. During the pandemic this model of online gaming became one of the biggest growth markets. Especially in small towns, where people have limited options for entertainment. Now one factor which gives an automatic boom to this industry is the passion for sports in India, especially cricket. As we know that cricket is worshipped in India but fantasy sports in India are not just restricted to it. Other Sports leagues like ISL & Pro Kabaddi League are becoming more popular on fantasy sports applications. 

According to a report by KPMG & IFSG, the current industry is worth $43 billion and expected to reach $118 billion by 2023 with growth rate of CAGR 22.1%

“In the long run fantasy sports can potentially slow down illegal betting” also added in the report.  Which is a great value addition by fantasy sports to the Indian society.

GamePlan 2019

At a flagship event on March the 4th, India’s self regulatory body – Indian Federation of Sports Gaming shared some details, facts and opportunistic reports for the fantasy sports industry. Here are some highlights:

  • More than 30% of the respondents accepted that they play it “ as an opportunity to win money”. However this factor was 5th important factor on the list
  • Report shared the respondents data based on the number of times they played fantasy sports in a week’s time. More than 25% play it more than 5 times & 75% once a week.
  • The most important reason or motivator to play fantasy sports came out as “fun and entertainment” followed by “utilization of sports knowledge” & “virtually ability to manage teams”.
  • 54% of the users play fantasy sports for free. However 46% have played a paid contest at least once in the last 6months. 
  • Cricket is the most preferred sport in online gaming backed up by 71% and followed by football at 54%.  

Historically speaking India is a country where adoption of new phenomenon’s happens slowly in the beginning, but once we catch on to a trend there is no looking back. 

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