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Esports viewers update A valuable segment with a (solvable) growth problem

Report by Richard Broadhurst
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20,000 foot view:  Esports currently struggle to attract consumers beyond esports enthusiasts and players of esport-centric titles. Despite growth problems, the esports viewer segment remains valuable. These consumers have large amounts of time and money spent across entertainment, as well as high ad tolerance. For esports to find further growth, it needs to reach across entertainment and provide better entertainment value to a wider audience. Brands and esports organisations can and should continue working together to grow esports audiences and the overall opportunity. The overlap between esports, music, games, video, social media, and sports provides an ideal gateway to do so.

Key insights

  • Esports viewer penetration in English-speaking markets fell from        in        2020 to        in        2021

  •        of esports viewers are male, and        are under       

  • Esports viewership in the US and Canada grew in older segments, but declined in younger segments

  • Thanks to over-indexing on time and money spent across entertainment, as well as on ad tolerance, esports viewers remain a valuable segment

  • Esports viewers are three times as likely to spend money on audiobooks and buying music than the consumer average

  • Esports viewers spend an average of        hours per week on social media, with        using Instagram and        using Twitter daily

  •        of esports viewers watch sports highlights on social media platforms and        watch sports on video streaming service

  • Valorant, Fall Guys, and League of Legends have the highest number of esports viewers as percentages of their user base
  • Call of Duty, FIFA, and Grand Theft Auto have the largest esports audiences in absolute terms even though they are a lower share of the total gamers
  • Esports viewers’ cross-entertainment overlaps highlight the most promising growth opportunities for the near-term future

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Facebook, Fall Guys, Far Cry, FaZe Clan, FIFA, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto, Instagram, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG), Pluto Tv, Super Bowl, TikTok, Tubi TV, Twitter, Valorant, Vevo, and YouTube

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