With more companies and sponsors investing in eSports than ever, it’s less a question of whether or not we’ll see the industry is set grow to greater heights in 2016, but how far. Newzoo sheds some light on the matter with a recently published a report that indicates how much it’s expected to expand.
Titled the 2016 Global eSports Market Report, it explains just how much the worldwide eSports market is set to achieve, up from the $325 million that was earned from competitions worldwide last year. This year, the number will pick up quite a bit, going up to $463 million – an estimated year-over-year growth of 43 percent.
The report is quite lengthy (80 pages), but here are some of the minor takeaways that are worth noting:
U.S. leads the way in eSports numbers
“In 2016, North America will strengthen its lead in terms of revenues with an anticipated $175 million generated through merchandise, event tickets, sponsorships, online advertising and media rights,” said eSports analyst Pieter van den Heuvel for Newzoo. “A significant part of these revenues flows back to the game publisher, but across all publishers, more money is invested into the eSports economy than is directly recouped by their eSports activities.
“China and Korea together will represent 23% of global eSports revenues, totaling $106 million in 2016. Audience-wise, the situation is different, with Asia contributing 44% of global eSports Enthusiasts. Growth in this region is, for a large part, fuelled by an explosive uptake in Southeast Asia”.
Peter Warman, CEO for Newzoo, also added, “2016 will be pivotal for eSports. The initial buzz will settle down and the way forward on several key factors, such as regulations, content rights and involvement of traditional media, will become clearer. The collapse of MLG was a reminder that this market still has a long road to maturity and we need to be realistic about the opportunities it provides. In that respect, it is in nobody’s interest that current market estimates differ so strongly. Luckily, when zooming in on the highest market estimates of more than $700 million, the difference is explainable by an in-depth look. This estimate only differs in the revenues generated in Asia (Korea in particular), and by taking betting revenues into account. At Newzoo, we believe betting on eSports should not be mixed into direct eSports revenues as the money does not flow into the eSports economy. Similarly, sports betting is not reported in sports market reports.”
Many eSports events got lots of attention
112 major eSports events took place last year, generating $20.6 million ticket revenues. As for prize money that was given out, it estimates at $61 million – a 70 percent increase from the previous year.
eSports audience has expanded
226 million gamers tuned in to events last year, and devoted eSports enthusiasts rose to 115 million, a growth of 27.7 percent over the previous year.
Global revenues are booming
The total amount of global revenue for eSports reached $325 million in 2015, with North America accounting for the most with $121 million. That’s a 67.4 percent growth over 2014’s numbers.
Advertising has reached a new peak online
Online advertising has managed to see the fastest increase in revenue, up 99.6 percent from the previous year.
Annual revenue for eSports enthusiasts is picking up
The average annual revenue for eSports enthusiast spending has reached $2.83 for 2015, and will grow even more to $3.53 this year. That’s lower than most traditional sports (basketball estimates $15 per fan per year), but keep in mind that they’ve been around longer than eSports.
There are plenty of big spenders
Despite the miniscule spending cost for eSports enthusiasts, they’re a loyal following, with a valuable demographic for each particular tournament. These fans are noted as having full time jobs with reasonable income, and indicate they’re willing to spend on digital media subscriptions, hardware and mobile content that relates to their favorite eSports activities.