Since the U.S. Collegiate Football Championship kicked off on Saturday, August 27, the five most popular sports betting apps have racked up more than half a million new downloads in a week. Total new installs for DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Barstool and Caesars are up 39% year-over-year.
Barstool Sportsbook downloads grew the most, with the app up 329% by the following Sunday. Growth slowed on Monday as the second fastest growing app, FanDuel, continued to gain momentum, with two apps achieving 257% install increases.
High growth has led to a drop in ratings, especially for Barstool. According to Apptopia’s Review Intelligence, 73% of the app’s reviews in the last week have been negative, and more than half of them were about “performance and bugs” related to app crashes. BetMGM had the second highest percentage of negative reviews at 40%. A third of them also dealt with “performance and bugs” as reviewers experienced withdrawal issues. This emerging segment of the app market appears to remain focused on user acquisition tactics at the expense of investment in user experience that drives retention. All five offered new users a $1,000 risk-free bet this weekend, with Caesars upping it to $1,250.
In fact, Review Intelligence points out that none of the top five sports betting apps have all the features they need, so gamblers are more likely to use more than one app to place different types of bets and find different promotions for new users. This leads to the fact that market shares are constantly changing.
The engagement race between them shows that parlays can mean more to these users. When FanDuel launched parlays in February 2022, it tripled its MAU difference with DraftKings compared to the previous year.
DraftKings seem to have figured this out. Two weeks ago they released updates to their multi bets and advertised them in the app description.
The top five sports betting apps are up 259% year-over-year in 2021 as more U.S. states legalize online betting. In addition, competitions are returning after the 2020 quarantine. The market is on track for positive growth this year, but it is likely to be in the single digits.
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