You can’t say we didn’t warn you. Back in early 2017, Dealerscope featured a nice primer for the consumer electronics retailer on the booming world and increasing importance of the esports community. At that time, we highlighted how advertising dollars—via sponsorships, traditional advertising, and prize pool money—was pouring into the space, racing towards the $100 million mark by the end of 2016.
But this is more than just a numbers play for the esports community itself. Recent research from Business Insider Intelligence dove into the growing audience of this booming industry. According to the firm’s data, the total esports audience is expected to grow 59 percent over the next five years, with still significant room for growth beyond that. By those calculations, the research suggests that more than 600 million consumers globally will watch esports by 2023, up from 378 million last year.
What’s more, the Business Insider Intelligence report found that nearly two-thirds of the U.S. esports audience is between the ages of 18-34—so these are consumers who are young, engaged, and ready to spend.
“The growing esports audience and brand activity helps explains why high-profile public figures are jumping in to capitalize on the action,” a statement accompanying the release of the report said. “In late October, basketball legend Michael Jordan and platinum-selling artist Drake both made investments into separate esports ventures, for example.”
To give you an idea of just how quickly this industry is growing, the report we published in 2017 cited data that the esports space would have an estimated 212 million occasional viewers worldwide by 2019. And that was an estimate made less than two years ago. So, expectations are actually being outpaced by reality in a very short amount of time here.
“While no one yet knows how big eSports can get, the viewership figures show a sizable global audience, and one that is getting larger every day,” the World eSports Association told Dealerscope at the time. “With the right business approach and more and more non-endemic brands entering the space, it is our view that eSports will continue to be one of the fastest growing categories in media in the coming years. … CE retailers should covet the gaming audience, as these fans turn into consumers who then support the entire ecosystem.”
Long story short: We’re talking about a massive pool of potential customers for the consumer electronics retailer.
First World Gadget of the Day
If I ever catch anyone I know using this thing, I will give you the world’s biggest eye roll and judge you accordingly.
You don't have to put your phone down to eat anymore. pic.twitter.com/kwXBi0CwnD
— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) May 2, 2019