New study finds that men aged between 21 and 35 watch eSports as much as they watch basketball or hockey
A study by independent researcher Newzoo into viewing habits on traditional and eSports has found that the millennial demographic (defined as men aged between 21 and 35) watch eSports as often as they watch basketball or hockey.
Researchers report that 22 percent of males between 21 and 35 watch eSports, and of that number, 76 percent claim that viewing eSports is eating into the time they used to invest in watching more traditional sports.
The report notes that 40 percent of eSports fans don't even currently play the games they're watching, and that traditional games like ice hockey and baseball are now playing second fiddle to the eSports events preferred by the millennial demographic.
This preference reverts to traditional sports for the 36 to 50 age group, but the researchers point out that this could change with time as the 21-35 group matures and transitions to the older group.
"If eSports generated as much in revenue per fan as the NBA, it would already be a $2.5 billion business," Newzoo observes.
Other interesting points from the report:
* The global eSports audience was 226 million and the number of Esports Enthusiasts reached 115 million in 2015, a YoY growth of 27.7 percent;
* Global revenues in 2015 reached $325 million, a growth rate of 67.4 percent. North America accounted for $121 million of this;
* The coming year will see the Esports Economy grow to $463 million, a year-on-year growth of 43 percent. North America will strengthen its lead in terms of revenues, whilst China and Korea together will represent 23 percent of global eSports revenues. The market will continue to experience rapid growth, crossing the $1 billion mark in 2016;
* In 2019, the eSports audience will have grown to 435 million worldwide;
* Trends behind eSports are redefining the DNA of future successful games and provide new opportunities for game companies big and small;
* Average spend per eSports fan is expected to reach $3.5 in 2016 – still almost five times lower than that of basketball ($15 per year) but up from $2.2 in 2014. Using a conservative scenario, Newzoo estimates the annual average spend per eSports fan will reach around $6 by 2019.
In 2015 there were 112 major eSports, with North America hosting 37 percent of them, organised mainly by MLG, ESL and Blizzard, with Dota 2 and CS:GO the most popular games. Western Europe followed, hosting 18 percent of all events.
* The biggest prize pool last year was at The International tournament, which topped $18.4 million, with just $1.6 million in guarantees by Valve. Europe's largest prize pool was $3 million at the Frankfurt Major.
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