Is Esports Worth Investing in for Media Platforms?

Over the last few years, esports has been able to attract millions of viewers across the world. More and more continue to tune in to watch their favourite video games being played by some of the best professional gamers in the world. And, with all that activity comes huge amounts of esports data such as live scores and player stats which can be leveraged to engage a highly desirable target group.

Esports is Large and Growing

Earlier this year, Newzoo, an esports market research company, reported that the global esports audience will grow to an estimated 454 million viewers across the globe in 2019, consisting of 201 million enthusiasts and regular viewers, and 253 million occasional viewers. As the esports industry matures with a wider selection of competitions to watch, larger media rights deals, and improved business models to monetise the audience, it is anticipated that by 2022, the average revenue per fan will grow to $6.02 from $4.58 in 2017, an increase of 31 %.

From the numbers above, it is obvious that there is still massive growth in esports, measured both in terms of audience and revenue. This is a huge opportunity for media platforms to position themselves to directly monetize esports and the audience with the right type of esports data. Here are some reasons why it is worth investing in esports for media platforms.

Esports has a Passionate Audience

Esports has a passionate and loyal audience. Esports enthusiasts and frequent viewers are known to be deeply engaged, actively chatting, commenting and generally interacting with their teams and other fans both between and during matches via forums and social media. Despite the often quite lengthy matches encountered in esports, fans are known to often watch matches in their entirety, even if it means staying up for hours in the middle of the night. In fact, esports fans average 100 minutes per session spectating, which is high compared to many traditional sports.

Surprisingly, only approximately half of the audience actually play the video game they are watching. When asked, many fans state that this is because they love the games, but simply find it more relaxing to watch than being an active part of or because they enjoy watching some of the spectacular feats that the pros manage to pull off in the highest-ranked matches. Fans don’t mind travelling far to see their favourite games, players, and tournaments, as seen by for example the record-breaking IEM Katowice 2019, where 174,000 fans attended the event in person, arriving from more than 20 different countries.

Esports Fans Are Young Digital Natives

Research has shown that about 65% of esports fans and viewers are between 18 to 34 years of age. This age demographic is known to be deeply engaged with digital media and to interact with digital media offerings on a daily basis. It can be hard to reach this age group through traditional advertising on traditional media platforms such as TV, radio and newspapers, but with the right digital offering providing valuable content utilising detailed esports data it’s possible to quickly reach millions of fans.

Esports Viewers Are Able to Spend Big

Most esports viewers are working professionals who have high purchasing power, making them an attractive group to cater to.

In a survey carried out by Mindshare, a global marketing firm, it was discovered that about 43% of esports enthusiasts and viewers have an annual household income of $75k per year or more. Also, about 31% of these viewers earn $90k or more per annum.

The data indicates that most esports enthusiasts and viewers are both willing and able to spend big on their favourite hobby. Their purchasing power, as well as the ability to engage in technology and media platforms, makes them particularly desirable to target for just about any business that can provide them with valuable content and offerings. Major brands have already discovered this with companies like Audi, Coca-Cola and Intel sponsoring the highest-level teams and competitions.

Esports is a Great Investment for Media Companies

To sum up, as the esports market continues to innovate and attract investments, it is on track for additional growth, both in size and revenue, in the coming years. Esports fans are loyal and passionate about their hobby, as well as generally being a young demographic that’s willing to spend on their hobby, and easy to reach through the right digital offering. All these factors combined makes esports an attractive proposition for media companies looking to place their next big investment.

As time goes on, there will be an increasingly harder competition to reach esports fans and as it often is the case content is king. The winners will be the ones offering the best esports content including esports data such as live scores, stats, interviews, news stories and similar engaging and entertaining content. Media companies investing in esports now will both reap the benefits of the huge target group already present and position themselves to capture the large growth over the next years.

How to Choose an Esports Data Provider

Want to know what you should look for when choosing an esports data provider? We have previously covered what we believe to be the most important factors for bookmakers in this decision process, and most of the factors should apply for media companies as well. Learn more here.