Report: U.S. Male Millennials Watch as Much eSports as Baseball, Hockey

esports media business viewingA fascinating report via Newzoo: “In brief, there are three reasons resulting in the enormous interest from both consumer brands and sports companies to get involved in esports:”

  1. “Reaching the unreachables: The millennial audience aged between 21 and 35 and the generation following have a completely different media consumption profile than older consumers. Games and esports give them the active engagement they desire and thrills they don’t find in other entertainment.”
  2. “Games have become a global spectator sport: Similar to sports, a large share of the total esports audience does not play the game(s) themselves. Live streaming services like Twitch and its Asian counterparts have more than 100 million unique viewers each month, and games as a theme are equal to music on YouTube. Live esports events draw up to 100,000 visitors over a weekend.”
  3. “A multi-billion-dollar business in the making: Revenues generated through merchandise, ticketing, media rights, advertising, and sponsorships already amounts to approximately $0.5 billion this year. If esports revenues per fan were similar to the NBA, it would easily be a $2.5 billion business today. Hence, the interest of traditional media and investors.”

Said Pieter van de Heuvel, Head of Esports at Newzoo: “The huge interest in esports from sports celebrities, clubs, media companies, and brands alike illustrates how games are leading the media and entertainment business toward a new future that has more in common with games than not. Games bring innovation in tech and consumer business models, and have a unique ability to engage with and actively involve the younger generations. Traditional and digital media and sports companies bring experience in providing advertisers with an effective communication platform. There clearly is a natural, strategic, and commercial fit.”

Other highlights:

  • “Among American male millennials (age 21 to 35), esports is just as popular as baseball or ice hockey, with 22% watching it.”
  • “76% of Esports Enthusiasts say that their esports viewership is taking away hours they used to spend watching sports.”
  • “There are six million esports fans (of twenty million in total) in the US that do not watch baseball, ice hockey, basketball, or American football at all.”
  • “Of the 80 million American basketball fans, 9.6 million are also into esports. Basketball clubs investing into esports have the potential to reach 10.3 million new (esports) fans currently not into basketball.”

Download the full report here.

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