The esports industry is showing great signs of growth. According to Newzoo (2019), they expect revenues to break the US$1 billion mark this year. We share our key data points and insights from the report.
The press copy we received is very informative. While we’d like to summarise all the data, we’ve chosen to highlight our Top 3 key data points. We’ll provide our insights into these points as well.
Key data and insights
#1: In 2019, global esports revenue is expected to grow to US$1.1 billion
According to Newzoo, this represents a 26.7% increase year-on-year. Clearly, esports isn’t just a passing phase with the amount of investment going into the industry. There is demand from spectators and enthusiasts to watch and experience matches. In addition to that, brands see value in the sport and its supporters.
Additionally, Newzoo breaks down 2019’s expected revenue into the following categories (in order of greatest contributor to least):
- Sponsorship – 42%
- Media rights – 23%
- Advertising – 17%
- Merchandise & Tickets – 9%
- Game Publisher Fees – 9%
#2: In 2019, the global esports audience will grow to 453.8 million
The 453.8 million figure represents a 15% increase year-on-year. Clearly, more people are watching esports. Newzoo attributes this increasing audience to greater awareness from mainstream entertainment: “Netflix, linear video platforms, and other media” (Newzoo, 2019). However, they note that likely drivers in emerging markets are urbanisation, improved IT infrastructure and mobile gaming in addition to other factors.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of local internet infrastructure and mobile gaming before. While Australia isn’t an emerging market as such, we’d expect to see stronger esports viewership if our internet infrastructure was better. Similarly, with Australia in close proximity to the rest of mobile-first Asia, we expect esports awareness and viewership to increase.
#3: IEM Sydney 2018 was the 26th most viewed tournament globally and 7th in Asia Pacific (by viewership hours on Twitch)
IEM first came to Sydney in 2017. It started off as a 2-day weekend event. By 2018, it grew to a 3-day event. According to Newzoo, these were IEM Sydney‘s stats for 2018 (and 2017, for comparison):
- Viewership: 4.4 million (2017: 2.5 million)
- Attendees: 3,000 (2017: 6,000)
- Ticket revenue: US$421,600 (2017: US$172,900)
- Prize pool: US$250,000 (2017: US$200,000)
Newzoo doesn’t state in their report whether the attendee numbers are self-reported by IEM or whether this was sourced elsewhere. Despite the 50% decrease in attendee numbers, viewership saw a 76% increase year-on-year and ticket revenue saw an increase of 143.84% year-on-year.
IEM Sydney 2018 also increased its ranks within Newzoo’s Top 50 tournaments by Twitch viewership year-on-year. In 2017, it was ranked 42nd globally and 11th in the Asia Pacific region.
Update: Provided link to Newzoo website.