Esports 2019

Esports 2019

eMarketer’s Forecast for US Audience, US Ad Revenue Growth

Competitive, organized video gaming is a multibillion-dollar, global business with opportunities for marketers to not only reach fans through traditional means, but also engage with them on a deeper level than the legacy sports ecosystem allows.

How big is the esports audience, and what is its growth outlook?

Audiences for esports are large and growing. We expect esports viewers to grow by a total of 52.5% between now and 2023, reaching 46.2 million at that time. Further, beyond the confines of organized competitions, there’s an even bigger world of players and fans of gaming video content. Most of this activity happens on digital viewing platforms, and what they lack in scale compared with broadcast or premium cable channels, they make up for in higher targetability, measurability and engagement.

How are esports monetized?

There are multiple revenue streams connected to esports. Like other aspects of this ecosystem, estimates of revenues yield diverging and sometimes contradictory data. However, most industry experts agree that advertising, sponsorships, media rights, ticket sales to live events and merchandising are among the main monetization channels. All of them are expected to grow in an all-boats-rising scenario.

What opportunities and challenges does the world of esports present for marketers?

The esports fan is a conundrum for brand marketers. However, once they peel back the layers on this audience, marketers realize that esports viewers tend to be loyal, tuned-in, digitally savvy and more affluent than the average consumer. The trick is learning where, when and how to reach them.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at the worldwide esports market, focusing on audience metrics, monetization, viewing channels and marketing opportunities in regions with the highest levels of activity and potential for future growth.

KEY STAT: US ad spending on esports streams will reach $213.8 million in 2020, a 20% increase over the $178.1 million spent this year. These figures are just one revenue stream in a larger global market for esports and gaming video content.

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Paul Verna


Chris Bendtsen
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Blake Droesch
Eric Haggstrom
Junior Forecasting Analyst
Victoria Petrock
Principal Analyst
Sharon Tan
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst