Quoting the report, “the number of consumers worldwide that are aware of esports will surpass one billion this year, up 36% compared to last year.”
Newzoo’s consumer report delivers new data for analysis
As stated in the report, the conclusions made by the research firm were done with the help of its recent consumer research effort that was conducted in April this year.
The study includes data from 16 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, China, Japan, and Korea, and results in an average awareness of eSports among gamers of 65.7 percent, 12 percent more than last year’s 53.7 percent.
More awareness leads to eSports audience growth
According to the report:
“Explosive growth in coverage from global and local media, an intensified effort from game publishers, as well as the launch of an abundance of new leagues and events have accelerated the global exposure of eSports beyond initial expectations.”
The biggest portion of the total awareness is contributed by China with 28 percent, followed by the EU with 22 percent, and North America with 15 percent.
With results that exceeded initial expectations, Newzoo has made adjustments in its audience figures, reporting that the current eSports audience consists of 148 million eSports enthusiasts – up from 131 million due to the positive results – and 144 million occasional viewers (those who are only partially involved in the industry and are mostly interested in big events).
Media coverage plays a big role
Newzoo observes that the growth of eSports awareness can be attributed to three things:
“Increased involvement of mainstream media and broadcasters, a huge effort by publishers to build their eSports business and explosive growth in leagues and events organized on a global, regional, and particularly local scale.”
With media giants like Turner, ESPN, and Yahoo offering esports coverage, not to mention the rise of esports betting sites focusing on CSGO gambling, Dota 2 betting, and more, the industry reaches a broader audience and thus spreads awareness.
In addition to being a trendy topic in the media business, broadcasting competitive gaming also gives media companies an opportunity to attract a younger audience.
Surge in eSports awareness creates momentum for local efforts
With the growth in eSports awareness, more and more local eSports organizations are pushing for the eSports athlete to be recognized as a job. This would help professionals with regulatory issues, such as visa applications.
Some universities are also proactive about rolling out eSports-based projects on their campuses. Giving players the means to pursue their passion also increases awareness, which consequently leads to the growth of the community.
As more companies and organizations see the potential value in the industry, especially due to its young and active demographics, the community will see more businesses stepping in and trying to get a piece of the cake. This could further increase public consciousness and help bring the eSports industry closer to the traditional sports industry.