Industry News & Events

World Cup 2018: Germany has more attentive fans than England

Liam Fitzpatrick
Jun 20, 2018

With the ubiquity of mobile, it can seem like everyone is constantly glued to their phones. But everyone needs a break—and it’s during these times of inactivity that we can actually tell a lot about mobile usage.

So when the World Cup happens, which team’s fans will be loyal, and which team’s fans will be glued to their phones? We decided to focus on one of football’s greatest international rivalries of all time: Germany vs. England.

The goal was to assess the behaviour of each country’s fans during the greatest football (what my American colleagues call soccer) competition in the world. We measured mobile phone usage on our network in Germany and England during each team’s first World Cup match.

For a control, we looked at the previous two days of week and times corresponding to each country’s first match times (Germany’s last two Sundays at 18:00-19:30 UTC+3, and England’s previous two Mondays at 21:00-22:30 UTC+3). Then we measured the difference during the World Cup match relative to the time of the control. Since both matches were watched in different countries at different times, we measured mobile usage in each country during match times to ensure we were comparing apples to apples.



The country with the biggest drop in normal traffic would be the country we determined to have the most loyal fans, and it was clear German fans were glued to the game more than English fans. Compared to the Sunday before, German mobile activity dropped a noticeable 2.37% during its crushing match against Mexico, and it picked back up to regular traffic numbers by postgame. However, it’s interesting to note that mobile usage during pregame hours in Germany was actually up 4.22% compared to the previous Sunday, meaning fans were actively using their mobile devices before the match but put them down to pay attention after it started.


For English fans, on the other hand, we actually saw a mobile usage increase of 1.92% during the country’s inaugural match against Tunisia, which was about the same mobile usage as the previous Monday’s numbers. So while Germany may have lost to Mexico, we’re proud to present its fans the AppLovin Attention Award for the 2018 World Cup!


While playing out a 1-1 draw with Tunisia, England fans’ mobile usage increased on the previous week’s numbers, perhaps due to English fans turning to their phones expecting another disappointing performance. Germany’s supporters, on the other hand, with their side having a history of success in the competition, perhaps paid more attention to the game as they tried to break down a stubborn team Mexico.

Will Harry Kane’s injury-time winner restore English dreams of success in the competition and increase the amount of attention they pay to the next game? Germany may have won the Attention Award, but English pride remains intact as England comes out on top in the first round of the actual football matches.  

Note: We see no personally identifiable information on our network. For this study, we only looked at users’ country of origin. Our platform doesn’t see nor store any personal information and is fully GDPR compliant.

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