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Profiling Esports Viewers The Synergy of Spend, Ad Receptiveness and Engagement

Report by Karol Severin
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20,000 Foot View: As live events have halted, attracting non-endemic brands to esports via digital content has moved to the forefront for esports companies. But attracting the largest brands often requires close-to-mainstream demographic reach and a similar socioeconomic make-up. Esports viewers are not quite there yet. However, they do display a set of specifically attractive characteristics such as high spending across all entertainment, significantly higher-than-average tolerance to digital advertising and an increased likelihood to follow brands online. Per head, esports viewers are arguably one of the most valuable emerging consumer segments out there. This justifies involvement in the field by large brands early, despite the current niche penetration rate. 

Key Insights:

  • As of        2020,        of        year old consumers watch esports monthly across the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France and Germany
  • Esports viewers skew younger and male, with        of esports viewers being male and        less than        years old
  • Esports viewers are more likely to be high earners:        have an annual income of more than        per year, compared to the consumer average which is       
  • Esports viewers have some of the highest spender penetration rates across all entertainment, in contrast to music and video streaming subscribers who show a strong spender over-index in their respective areas but less so across other entertainment fields
  • Simultaneously, esports viewers are more tolerant to ads and more likely to follow brands on social media
  • The majority of esports viewers are concentrated within a small handful of large games companies/rightsholders including Tencent, Epic Games, Activision, and EA
  • Rocket League has the most esports-centric audience, with        of players viewing esports monthly
  • The Call of Duty gamer community has the most overall esports viewers across surveyed markets
  • Though still niche, esports viewers are valuable across entertainment and present compelling reasons for large brands to increase involvement in the space 

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Activision, Apex Legends, Assassin’s Creed, EA, Epic Games, FIFA, Fortnite, League of Legends, GTA, Overwatch, Riot Games, Rocket League, Rockstar, Spotify, Valorant, YouTube

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