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How to make money with Downloads ads during 2021 summer sports events!

1081 754 Alistair Bishop

Downloads is an ever-changing vertical, as different software and apps always need updating. But one thing that stays the same is the chance to make an affiliate income with the downloads niche!

Since consumers are looking to have the latest sports betting apps, mobile games, travel apps, and other downloadable content to accompany their sporting exploits this summer, now is the time to prepare your downloads niche campaigns to cash in on this gold medal opportunity.

Read on to find out how to make money with the Downloads niche during 2021 summer sports events!

Can you still make money with Downloads ads in 2021?

Well, the answer should be obvious to you by now… of course you can! And according to BusinessWire, the mobile apps market will be worth $407.31 billion by 2026 if it keeps growing at its current rate. Although that’s not all, as that’s just for mobile apps, and as we know some of the best Downloads offers in the affiliate industry also cover the desktop audience.

As Statista reports, the software market is currently worth $69.97 Billion (USD) in 2021, and the industry isn’t expected to stop growing any time soon.

Statista graph of downloads market size

Source: Statista

We’re not saying that this is how much you will be making, though. But there still is a chance to earn big bucks with the Downloads vertical given the payout per download continues to be one of the highest in the affiliate industry.

How to make money with Downloads ads?

First, you will need to head to an affiliate network and find an offer for your customers. You will likely have two options, CPA or RevShare payouts.

The more common type is the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) model. This means for every customer you get to complete the desired action of downloading your partner company’s software, you get a kickback of commission. So, now it’s your job to get as many downloads to be completed in the period that you are running the offer. The more downloads, the more money you make.

However, there is another model reserved for some software such as Antivirus example, which is the RevShare (revenue share) model. This is an opportunity for you to make more money over a longer time period if the customer continues to use the software. So, keep an eye out for these offers on affiliate networks as you could score big money with this option.

Did the pandemic make it harder to run Downloads offers?

There is a simple answer to this question too, it’s a no. In fact, the downloads market has seen a boost due to more than 18% extra time spent online due to the pandemic in the USA, as well as globally according to Statista.

So, if anything, the opportunity to make money with downloads has been higher than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. Another big part of the pandemic market has been the work-from-home environment that generated the need for greater security for work devices at home. This led to a spike in the demand for Antivirus and VPN downloads to provide an added level of security for said devices.

But also self-improvement has been on the rise during lockdowns as people download more educational apps to learn new skills while they are at home.

So, overall the coronavirus pandemic has been a profitable time to run Downloads offers to customers in the affiliate industry.

Summer of Champions banner

Which Downloads offers are hot right now?

Have you been searching for which downloads you can make money with as an affiliate marketer? Well, search no longer, we will answer all of your concerns. If you are looking for mobile or desktop downloads to promote throughout the sports events this summer, then you are in the right place.


The first type of profitable downloads offer is the one for the mobile market. Mobile App installs to be precise. Getting your customer to download an app (typically free but sometimes paid) is one way to earn your affiliate commission.

In addition to this, there is a possibility to run ads inside these apps promoting other apps and mobile games. In-app traffic is a gold mine of valuable, engaged users for mobile affiliate marketers. This is because it provides you tons of pre-qualified leads as they have already affirmed their interest by downloading the given app before.

According to Business of Apps, the biggest app stores on the market, namely Google Play store, Microsoft, and Apple, all have affiliate programs to promote apps in their respective stores, too. The commission varies but is around 10% on average. So, that is always another option you can explore if affiliate programs are your preferred commission source.

Examples of the best sports-related apps to download are given below, but what typically perform best are mobile games.


The second one is Desktop, where the difference between mobile and desktop devices in terms of downloads gets smaller every year. That’s because most computers have similar versions of ‘apps’ that can be downloaded on mobile devices. This in combination with tablet devices (that are halfway between desktop and mobile) means some downloads that work on desktop work on mobile devices, too, these days. That’s not to say you don’t have to select which device you are targeting in your campaign setup, you still do. It just means that the size of the market has grown. And so has the size of the opportunity.

Examples of the best sports-related Downloads are listed below but what traditionally performs best for desktop devices are Antivirus and VPNs.

Benefits that the Downloads niche offers to sports fans

  • Staying up to date with sports statistics via various apps.
  • Sports betting apps e.g. Betwinner, Bet365, Ladbrokes.
  • Video streaming apps e.g. Sportstream, SportsFanTV.
  • VPN apps for mobile (or plugins for desktop) to access streaming sites available in different countries.
  • Travel apps to book trips to the matches.
  • Thousands of sports games apps to choose from to feel part of the action.

Which sports should affiliate marketers running downloads focus on?

Nearly all major sporting events are broadcast on multiple news outlets in 2021. Needless to say, this leads to fantastic advertising opportunities as the viewership for such events is immense. For example, during UEFA EURO 2020 there are more than 220 nations broadcasting the games, each with different broadcasting needs and requirements. And that doesn’t even cover the unofficial sites streaming those broadcasts.

To take advantage of such large numbers of viewers online, you will need to target users on streaming platforms where the sporting events might be held. Therefore, the Downloads vertical is a perfect match for these sites as people want to be able to watch their sports team, and various downloads offers fit the events.

As you can see in the example above, there are many downloads offers that pair well with sports events. Sports betting apps for betting on the outcome of the game, sports statistic apps that provide the information needed to make informed betting choices, or simply be more knowledgeable about the event, or even sport streaming apps. Such the demand means that affiliate marketers are now in for a treat!

Antivirus and VPN

And that’s not forgetting the Antivirus and VPN downloads market, which makes up another vertical all on its own due to the vast number of offers available.

Your target audience may want to download a VPN to watch their favorite sports teams while abroad, or simply they prefer the streaming services provided by another country. A VPN solves this problem as the customer can choose from a list of countries to have their connection routed from, in order to get access to such a streaming service.

For example, the BBC Sport coverage for UEFA EURO 2020 is in English but limited to viewers with IP addresses within the U.K. What’s the solution for this? Simple, a VPN that can allow you access to servers based in the United Kingdom and thus access your favorite commentators in your native language.

Essentially, this means that any sporting event with a live broadcast is an opportunity to make money as an affiliate marketer this summer. So, we are suggesting that you do your own research to see which sports events make the most sense for you and your campaigns this summer.

Sports Events Calendar

To help you navigate through this summer’s sporting extravaganza, we’ve prepared the ultimate sports events calendar for affiliate marketers. Just take a look below!

It has something for every potential customer, whether they are into tennis, soccer, athletics, golf, or even cycling. This calendar provides all the key dates for when spectators might want to engage with Downloads offers the most while giving you heads-up as to when and where it’d be best to promote them.

💡TIP: If you are running Downloads campaigns with push traffic, we especially suggest you target the specific dates of these events to ensure the best chance of success with your campaigns. Sports events calendar 2021

What’s the best ad format to advertise downloads offers?

As you probably know by now, the best ad format for advertising downloads is push ads. And while many offers (like Antivirus and VPNs) work well on desktop, many mobile apps can be successfully promoted, too. So, don’t forget to optimize your campaigns for the device type.

Therefore, if you plan to promote computer protection programs, your best option would be to create a push campaign targeting desktop traffic. And don’t forget, although mobile devices have high conversion rates for most download offers, it’s usually apps and games that are most interesting to many mobile users.

The benefit of choosing push notifications on desktop is that it allows you to display non-invasive ads to your audience whenever they browse the web. It’s best to know what your target audience is searching for and give them a gentle reminder about a download that will solve their problems, or make them happy during these sports events.

If you can do that, then you’ll get yourself a new customer.

Simple, right?

Affiliate networks providing Downloads offers:

  • Maxbounty
  • Mobidea
  • Lemonads
  • Zeydoo
  • Clickdealer
  • Targeleon
  • CrakRevenue

Each of these affiliate networks provides Downloads offers that you can use with your sports events campaigns right now. They should work well with push ads and many of them have added bonuses just for being a Zeropark customer, too.

Do you want some suggestions on how to do that? Take a look at the end of the article for examples of eye-catching push creatives.

Zeropark Deals

If you’ve got a Zeropark account then we have a bonus waiting for you! Did you know there’s a place that has the affiliate marketing industry’s best networks, advertisers, affiliate programs, top offers, and tools such as trackers, landing page builders, and spy tools? Well, this place is the Zeropark Deals section. And each deal has an exclusive bonus just for being a Zeropark customer.

If you’re looking to make some extra profit this is the place for you. It’s the Deals tab, which can be found in your account dashboard. We update it regularly so remember to come back and check if there is a new deal for you as we might have just added some new partners.

And if you’re only after affiliate offers, head to the Offer Wall under the Deals tab to see what’s waiting for you.

offer wall

Examples of ad copy & creatives for the Downloads vertical

Downloads have always been an evergreen affiliate marketing niche. As you can see in the case of push ads example, the way that we market downloads still has to be through suggestion rather than aggression. As we have already said, the best mobile offers come from app downloads, but Antivirus offers tend to work best for desktop devices. Although some downloads don’t sound strictly sport-related, it’s all about how you spin it to the user.

For example, you can find apps that give you good statistics for football or even sports mobile games to download. Just don’t forget to link your copy back to the sports events like in the examples below.

However, for desktop, you need to update the copy to highlight the need for antivirus downloads at a time when they need their devices for watching and streaming sporting events. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is an excellent motivator to use in your campaigns, so give it a try and see if you can score some commission.

And don’t forget a clear CTA (Call to action) goes a long way, we suggest Download now!

Have a look at the example push ads for some inspiration.

Do you think you can do it?

Downloads Push example


Now we have shown you that Downloads has always been a safe bet, and the sports events this summer have made it an obvious choice for any affiliate marketer worth their salt. We recommend that you make sure you are ready to test your Downloads campaigns because the summer of sport is well underway now. So, get your copy and creatives at the ready, pick your device type and your GEO, and make the most of the action.

Go For Gold With Sports Events & Downloads Ads!
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