New data from Juniper Research has found that online eSports services, such as Twitch, will grow to over 310 million by 2020, increasing from 133 million this year and bringing in almost $1 billion in revenues from subscriptions alone.
By comparison, 2020 will see eSports audiences surpass the levels of the NFL tournament and approach that of Formula 1:
- eSports -102 million global viewers 2014
- NFL tournament – 220 million unique viewers in 2014
- Formula 1 racing – 400 million global viewers in 2014
According to the forecast, eSports is on the cusp of significant growth, with tournaments and prize pools expanding in size and value; key eSports tournaments such as last year’s League of Legends World Championships final drew in over 27 million viewers.
In particular, advertisers are set to benefit, with revenues forecast to increase by almost 250% from 2015 to 2020. This will mirror an increased willingness by consumers to subscribe to online eSports channels and broadcasters, with subscription revenues reaching almost $1 billion by 2020.
“An increased audience, as well as greater impact from the most popular eSports broadcasters will see user adoption of the subscription model increase,” explains Lauren Foye, report author. “Consumers will also begin to spend more time viewing eSports content in general, leading to an increase in terms of ad impressions.”
Meanwhile, as eSports threaten to compete for traditional sports in terms of popularity, a panel at next month’s OTTtv World Summit (9th – 12th November 2015 Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London) will be asking next week whether or not pure OTT players can ultimately compete against pay-TV operators and broadcasters to seize major sporting rights. Click here to download the full free brochure.