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BizReport : Advertising archives : May 10, 2017

Time spent watching eSport rose 19% in 2016

By 2021, eSports will attract more than $1billion in ad revenue as audiences grow and brands take notice, according to IHS Markit's latest report.

by Helen Leggatt

IHS Markit's 'eSports and the Future of TV' report reveals that, in 2016, eSports attracted $280million in ad spend. Investment primarily went into video, influencer marketing, and sponsorship.

By 2021, that figure will have exceeded $1billion, forecasts IHS Markit, as the nascent industry continues to expand its audience.

"Investment in eSports will pay off for its big-name backers," says Ted Hall, research director for IHS Markit, "as the genre expands both within its target demographic and outside it, with increasing exposure on linear TV set to bring in casual and new fans."

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The amount of time people spent watching eSport rose 19% last year to more than 6billion hours, according to IHS Markit. However, the report suggests that it will be several years before eSports becomes a significant advertising business due to global audience fragmentation. More than half (57%) of the global eSports audience is in China (57% of all viewing in 2016) and games were watched more than 11billion times in China last year - four times as many as in North America, the second-largest market.

Earlier this year, market research firm Newzoo forecast the global eSports economy would reach $696million this year with consumer spending (tickets/merchandise), game publisher investment as well as brand sponsorship, advertising and media rights, accounting for the growth. Newzoo expects things to pick up in 2018 with the global eSports market reaching $1.5 billion in annual revenue by 2020.

Tags: advertising, eSports, trends

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