The market research firm SuperData recently issued a new report projecting esports revenue will hit $2.3 billion by 2020. The New York-based company predicts a 26 percent revenue increase in the next four years thanks to audience and third-party investments growth.
Esports market finally hitting mainstream
After maintaining growth momentum in the last couple of years, esports has finally hit the mainstream, says SuperData. The competitive gaming market has attracted the interest of many big-name brands.
According to the report, the projected growth will be fueled by continuous expansion of the esports audience, suggesting 12 percent growth each year.
SuperData suggests that as the market matures, opportunities for revenue streams will increase. An increasing number of advertisers and investors are taking notice.
Immense viewership growth
This report is not a shock. SuperData has reported the development of esports for years. Not only has the number of players increased, but the number of people watching esports for leisure has skyrocketed.
Take PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), for example. The monster hit MOBA was released in April. It’s already surpassed 200 million unique viewers. The game almost reached Twitch’s viewership numbers for League of Legends. It’s also worth noting PUBG’s viewership is 20 times larger than its player base.
While audiences are strongly attracted to the most popular streamers for individual games, most esports events also see audience growth year-over-year.
The market for viewership is increasingly competitive. The report from SuperData offers insights on the fight for esports viewership between Twitch and YouTube. It says more than 67 percent of viewers use both platforms for watching, with 20 percent watching only through Twitch and 11 percent only through YouTube.
But the competition runs deeper than that head-to-head showdown. Hulu, for one, recently entered esports via ESL for exclusive content. The company, a joint venture among Disney, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Time Warner, looks to attract the audience with high-quality storytelling.
With big companies like YouTube and Facebook entering the stage, the content-provider space grows crowded. While Twitch still holds the status of go-to place for casual viewers, with its exclusive content deals, the audience is becoming more fragmented.
At the end of the day, what matters most is where the action is happening, which especially holds true for big live events. Esports has come a long way in the last couple of years, and the industry shows no signs of slowing.