Urban Airship Scores With A New Push Notification Throughput Record During the World Cup

Choosing a partner that excels in speed, scale and reliability is essential — read more about Urban Airship’s performance during the World Cup, and our new Boost solution.


More and more sports fans are staying connected by opting in to receive push notifications and web notifications, and World Cup fans are no exception. According to a study by Oath, ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 23% of fans were planning to use their smartphones while they watched the matches on TV.

For the World Cup, this meant hoards of fans shouting ¡GOAL! simultaneously — sometimes in advance of the goals being shown on satellite feeds.

The Game Plan

In any sport, the score can change in a second and when the stakes (and passions) are high, sports fans expect to receive information as quick as it’s available — in real time if possible.

>> Learn more about our new push notification accelerator solution, Boost.

With apps from various verticals ranging from media, sports, gaming and retail expected to leverage key moments of the tournament, Urban Airship was ready to handle the extremely high volumes of notifications being sent.

A Record Breaking World Cup For Urban Airship

During England vs. Croatia's dramatic overtime conclusion, Urban Airship hit a new peak throughput record of 380,000 notifications/per second, which was sustained for more than one minute. The entire traffic spike lasted for about five minutes. The France vs. Belgium match saw a traffic spike that also lasted about five minutes, but with a peak throughput of 310,000 notifications/second.

Notifications Sent When Croatia Upset England

Graph of backend traffic from our Digital Engagement Platform. Green represents Android notifications, blue represents iOS notifications and purple represents web notifications.  

Another peak throughput record was set with the World Cup Final on July 15th, where Urban Airship delivered 400,000 notifications per second with an overall traffic spike lasting for nearly seven minutes.

Notifications Sent When France Won the World Cup Championship

Graph of backend traffic from our Digital Engagement Platform. Green represents Android notifications, blue represents iOS notifications and purple represents web notifications.

To put that in perspective, 400,000 notifications is 4x the number of seats in Wembley Stadium in London and almost 7x the number of seats in Yankee stadium in New York.

How The Game Has Changed Since The 2014 World Cup

Since the last World Cup in 2014, the peak throughput volume of notifications delivered by Urban Airship has increased more than 2.5x.

In the 2014 semi-finals match between Netherlands & Argentina (7/9/2014) Urban Airship’s peak notification throughput was 147k notifications per second compared to France vs. Croatia’s 400,000 notifications/second.  

Real Time Notifications & Engagement For the Win

From sports updates to breaking news to weather alerts and travel updates, seconds can make all the difference. Especially as more and more brands are realizing the power of truly real-time digital engagement.

Choosing a partner that excels in speed, scale and reliability is essential — learn more about Urban Airship’s Boost solution.