Business is booming in the world of esports, as evidenced by a new report released on Valentine's Day by Newzoo. Brand investment is expected to double by 2020, bringing the total investments in the fledgling sport to almost $1.5 billion.
While the report goes on to explain that in 2017 alone, the brand will see a 41.3% growth from 2016, from $493 million to $696 million in total revenues. Over half of the total revenues this year will come from North America and China, which will provide 37% and 15% respectively.This paints a rosy picture of the future of the esports industry; however, Newzoo mentions that $116 million of the total revenues in 2017 represents “the total investment that game publishers will make into esports, that is, the share that is not directly recouped by any of the other revenue streams.” So while an investment into esports may not be immediately profitable, it seems publishers are going to be willing to take a chance on its seemingly bright future.
The Newzoo report also offers insight into the breakdown of the viewership of esports. It predicts that worldwide audiences of esports events will reach 385 million in 2017, 191 millions of those viewers being “Esports Enthusiasts.” The bulk of those enthusiasts will be in the Asian-Pacific, with countries from that area making up 51% of the total number of esports enthusiasts.
Despite the larger number of enthusiasts in the Asia-Pacific region, it is North America that takes the crown as the largest esports market. The average North American esports enthusiast provides $10.36 in revenue per year, possibly due to the already extensive traditional sports and media industry already in place.
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The full report can be found at www.newzoo.com.