VAB: esports attracts elusive, highly engaged male millennial audience | Media Analysis | Business
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Almost two-thirds of people participating in esports are hard-to-reach, millennial males and are very receptive to brand advertising according to research from the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB).
VAB esports 8March2019
The Esports Report: The Area of Effect study found that both global esports audiences and revenues were experiencing double-digit annual growth. It forecasts that the market is expected to grow to over 500 million people and is projected to reach 654 million in 2022. By comparison, there are currently 139 million global Netflix subscribers and 447 million global subscriptions to online video services. In the US 23% of esports fans began following the sport between 2017 and 2018.

This audience growth is expected to drive a commensurate spike in business with VAB calculating that esports sponsorship, advertising and media rights revenues will reach $1.5 billion by 2022, a 67% increase versus 2019 projections. In 2019, North America alone is set to will generate $409 million of total global esports revenues.

As well as calculating the size of audience and worth, the analysis studied who comprised this audience. It found that 65% of esports fans are millennials with an average age of 26 and 62% are male. More than 87 US colleges now have varsity esports with almost three-fifths half of fans (58%) 25-years and older live with children in their households. Most esports fans were found to be multidimensional and have a variety of interests beyond esports and video games including TV shows, music, movies and traditional sports. They showed a positive attitude toward advertising and were willing to sample products from brands involved in esports.

“The dynamic esports community with its millennial male skew, delivers the passionate, desirable and elusive audience marketers covet,” said Jason Wiese, VAB's SVP, director of strategic insights. “Our new report finds this audience to be multidimensional, willing to engage with a variety of cross-platform content across screens and is brand loyal and highly receptive to integrated advertising campaigns.”