As engagement rates for live sporting events keep dropping, sporting facility owners and businesses need to re-examine their marketing strategy to arrest the drop-in revenue. In the increasingly digital environment, as people adopt a mobile-first behavior for all their activities, sports fans cannot be any different. Therefore, those in the business of sports must look at ways to engage with mobile enchanted sports fans. As 90% of mobile time is spent on apps, it makes sense to develop Sports apps to engage with the fans and convert them into loyal customers.
If you do not find this very convincing, here are some figures for consideration:
- 9 billion people used smartphones globally in 2019. This number will be 3.8 billion by 2021.
- The average smartphone user spends 2 hours 15 minutes on his mobile.
- 90% of mobile time is spent on apps.
- The game apps are the most popular download category on the Apple App store
- 60% of Android app users use gaming app and sports app
Sports apps can engage with the fans by providing sports news, score updates, sports merchandise, a platform to play fantasy sports, interaction with their favorite stars, etc. Each app can focus on any one type of activity or a combination of these.
CBS Sports App: #1 source for the top sports news, scores, videos and more
CBS Sports is an app launched by CBS Interactive for mobiles and connected TVs. Although the focus of the app is to provide exclusive access to sporting events, the app also provides in-depth analysis, breaking news, LIVE score updates, fantasy sports, advice, and on-demand video.
Although it runs on a subscription model, CBS Sports app has multiple revenue streams. It has its own fantasy sports events that generate a healthy income through sponsorship and contests. Merchandise like sports apparel, fan gear, jerseys, sports equipment, footwear, etc. are also available on the CBS Sports app through in-app purchases.
Essential features of a CBS Sports like app
To ensure popularity as well as the profitability of apps like CBS Sports, some essential features must be included in the app:
e-tickets: Many fans are unable to attend live events because they get cannot be bothered to physically go and get tickets. Making tickets for live events available easily through the apps can give a boost to revenue and engage customers at the same time.
Calendar integration: Apps make it easier to add reminders to the calendar, with the user’s permission. This can enhance viewership for live events and engagement with the app.
Wearable connectivity: With the proliferation of IoT devices, users often want their sports activities, be it playing or watching, to be integrated with wearables. Sports apps can make this connectivity easy and effective.
Geofencing: You can use this in your app to improve engagement and viewership of your live events. However, care must be taken that users’ due permission is taken beforehand and they are not spammed with notifications. This can be a sure shot method for antagonizing the user and they even might end up uninstalling the app.
Video and audio: Modern users have moved on from text-based information to video and audio. Your app must have a rich archive of high-quality on-demand audio and video. This could be in the form of live commentary, podcasts, recorded events, etc.
Live streaming: Live streaming of popular events is a must for every sports app. It has become an essential feature that users take for granted and you cannot imagine developing an app without this feature.
Live scoring: Your app should be able to independently collect data to show live scores, especially in case of fantasy Sports.
Fantasy leagues: If your app can provide Fantasy league element, its popularity and engagement are bound to soar high. However, you will need to add functions Like Team organization, contests, live streaming, etc. into your app compulsorily.
Team management: Managing a team, whether a player or a coach or a sports team owner, can easily be done digitally using Sports apps.
Real-time alerts: Push notifications for real-time events and reminders can prove to be an easy way to engage with the users. However, you must ensure that the users are not flooded with such alerts. They may be given a choice for the alerts that they want to receive.
Guidelines to make an app like CBS Sports
If you are planning to launch your own CBS Sports like fantasy sports app, here are some guidelines for you to consider. Of course, you will have your own ideas that you have generated after due market research, but you should be aware of the common features that users expect out of a sports app.
- The interface of the app should be both intuitive and engaging. If it is a fantasy sports app, designing the first designing the interface or the first look is even more important.
- You should use a cloud service to store huge amount of data and sports content that you will need to have available all the time.
- The fans should have the facility of communicating with their favorite teams or players in real-time.
- Push notifications are a must but they must be customized according to the user’s preferences. Sending too many may irritate the user while sending to few might be a lost business opportunity.
- Integrating a payment gateway is a must so that the users can make in-app purchases.
- Securing your data so that competitors are not able to access it is very important.
How much CBS Sports like sports app development cost?
If you are not in the business of developing software, developing a sports app in-house will be too much of an overhead for your core business. Outsourcing app development is a good idea in such a scenario, but you must know about the most important factors that determine the cost of development.
The back-end and front-end development: As you must be aware, every app has a front-end and a back-end, developed using different technologies, because their functions are different. The technologies that you use will determine the overall cost development.
App-specific Requirements: To save time and effort, you will need to use lots of third-party libraries for adding the different features. The number of features that you want to include, the amount of security that you want to embed, the services that you want to provide are some of the factors that will determine the amount of effort, and hence investment, required for developing the app.
Choice of the platform: The choice of the platform on which you want to make the app available is an important determinant of app development cost. You will need to decide whether you want to make the app available as a native app or a hybrid one. Moreover, you will also need to choose the platforms on which you want your app to be available.
Size of the development team: Depending upon the app complexity and the time in which you wish to get the app developed, the size of the team and expertise of the team members will vary. As the number and expertise of the team change, so will the cost of developing the app.
Location of development company: The cost incurred by the development team depends upon the location of the mobile app development company. When you are choosing the team to which you want to outsource the development, you should take this factor into account.
How does CBS Sports like fantasy app make money?
Apps are developed and launched to add to a business’s revenue stream. Here are some ways in which sports apps make money.
Advertising: The most important revenue stream for fantasy apps like CBS sports is advertising. They provide advertising spaces like videos, ads, and banners to the advertisers.
Sponsorship: Sponsorship is also an important way of generating revenue within fantasy apps. Gaming app users are considered to be one of the most engaged ones. So, businesses are happy to sponsor events and contests on the platform.
Subscriptions: Fantasy gaming apps like CBS Sports always run on a subscription model. The subscription may be monthly or annual, depending upon the plan selected by the user.
In-app purchases: The mobile-first generation does not shy away from making in-app purchases on these Sports apps. Sports merchandise, e-tickets, betting, contests, etc. are some of the purchases that users can make within the app.
Collecting and selling data: A huge amount of data about user behavior can be collected through to the sports apps. Selling this data can be a good, regular revenue stream.
Affiliate and Referral: As discussed earlier, fantasy sports app users are some of the most engaged. Therefore, referrals and affiliate links work much better if targeted correctly, according to users’ profiles.
Challenges linked with sports app development
Launching a sports app is a lucrative business proposition in today's digital world. However, sports app development has its own challenges, as we discuss here.
Third-party API dependencies
These days apps are not developed completely from scratch. There are lots of tried and tested libraries that are already available, which can be used to add different features. However, due diligence must be done before selecting those libraries so that there are no issues in developing features based on those third-party APIs. Enough buffer time should also be incorporated in case any issues arise.
Sports apps collect a humongous amount of data about user demographics and behavior. Keeping the data secure is an important concern. Some of the measures that you can take to ensure this include:
- Data must be saved on secure servers
- All in-app purchases must be 100% secure
- All inputs must be encrypted
- Server-side controls must be strong
- Advertisers and sponsors should not be given more access than they require so that they are unable to harvest data
Technology integration is very essential to ensure maximum user engagement. Users should be able to use the app on as many devices as they want, in whatever way they want. If you fail to do so, you may lose on potential customers, have reduced user engagement, and fail to achieve as much business as you envisioned.
CBS Sports like app alternatives that are widely used by people globally
Till now we have based our discussion around CBS Sports app. However, there is a plethora of CBS Sports like apps available. Let’s explore some of the popular apps here:
Free app for Android and iOS, theScore provides real-time score updates and breaking news to its users. It is an ideal app for fans who prefer being updated about the latest scores rather than watching live. The app has an event calendar where users can check the upcoming games as well as statistics for the games that are over. The app users can also follow their favorite teams and receive breaking news about them. The most popular aspect of the app is its social sharing feature that allows users to share match summaries with friends and followers.
Yahoo Sports is an aggregator sports app that allows users to get the latest news, scores, and statistics for their favorite sports. The depth of its statistics and analysis is really remarkable. Users can customize alerts they want to receive. Yahoo is also partnering with likes of NFL to provide live game streaming to its viewers.
The app provides live, up to the last second, scores for many games like cricket, tennis, hockey, soccer, and basketball. It is a clutter-free app that does not distract a user with its media-rich and flashy content. It is very popular among those who just want information without any strapping attached.
It is a free sports app for both Android and iOS platforms. It is an aggregator sports app that brings the latest sporting news and information from all over the world. Users can choose their favorite teams and sports so that they get only the relevant news. The paid plan allows users to stream movies, watch live events, and read in-depth sports analysis.
It is a free sports app for users, which focuses on providing live games and score notifications with video highlights, according to the user’s choices. It covers some of the biggest names in sports like NBA, MLS, NFL, and UEFA Champions League.
It is a live streaming platform for desktops, mobiles, tablets, connected TVs, and laptops, by NBC Sports group. Users can get live scores, notifications, and alerts, and watch live sporting events on NBC, NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, Telemundo Deportes, etc.
It is the number one cricket app on the Google Play Store. It is an app launched by the Indian cricket website cricbuzz.com. It provides ball-by-ball commentary and live score updates in multiple Indian languages. Any information that the users may want about the match, like when you, Empires, third umpire, etc. is available on the app.
The future of sports mobile app
According to Sports Business Institute, sports fans have migrated to digital platforms. Viewership of live events is decreasing by 11% every year and marketers are forced to think of new ways to attract them. Digital technologies have disrupted entertainment in a big way and sports are no different. As technologies to bring events to live to the fans in the comfort of their homes becomes more advanced with the use of VR and AR, more and more people would be using mobile apps to follow their favorite sports and teams.
Are you interested in developing a sports app like CBS Sports?
If you are interested in developing CBS Sports like a fantasy sports app, now is the best time to do so. Despite a plethora of sports apps flooding the market, there is scope for innovative mobile apps that provide an awesome interface and engaging experience to the users.
With so many mobile apps already in the market, the best way to approach launching a new sports app would be to look for the gap and provide something unique and interesting. Customer experience and engagement must always be the first priority while you are designing the app and getting it developed.