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Gaming analytics and research firm Newzoo has released the 2020 edition of its Global Esports Market Report. In this year’s report, the firm expects esports revenues to grow almost $150 million from 2019, setting 2020 up to hit $1.1 billion. Further, Newzoo predicts esports audiences to reach almost 500 million people worldwide this year.
According to Newzoo, part of what makes 2020’s expected revenues so groundbreaking is that it’ll happen without ad platform revenues. The report states that sponsorship is the highest-grossing revenue stream worldwide and will generate $636.9 million this year. This is up from 2019’s numbers of $543.5 million. Also worth noting is that China is now the biggest contributor to revenues, as it generates 35 percent of the world total.
On the live event front, Newzoo drew attention to 2019’s 885 major esports events that were available to the global audience. These events collectively generated $56.3 million in ticket revenues, a small growth spurt from 2018’s $54.7 million. According to the firm, the 2019 League of Legends World Championship was last year’s biggest tournament by live viewership hours. Across Twitch and YouTube, the event garnered 105.5 million hours.
Added to this year’s list of revenue streams was streaming, which Newzoo predicts will hit $18.2 million in 2020. Meanwhile, those numbers are expected to reach $31.6 million by 2023.
Global audience growth
As previously mentioned, global esports audiences are expected to reach 495 million people this year. Newzoo’s report breaks this viewership into “esports enthusiasts” and “occasional viewers.” The former will see numbers of 222.9 million, up 25 million year on year (YoY), while the latter will reach 272.2 million this year. Occasional viewership growth is up from 2019’s stats of 245.2 million. The firm noted that these two groups don’t add up to the total 2020 audience due to rounding.
The report also acknowledged that emerging markets in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East are boosting audience numbers. Urbanization, advances in IT infrastructure, and “explosive mobile growth” are attributed as reasons for these growing hotspots.
“The esports market has flourished more than ever before over the past few years, and we’ve seen individual countries, regions, and markets evolve in different ways,” co-founder and CEO of Newzoo Peter Warman said in a release.
“Each market now has its own form and flavor, a combination of different game preferences, platforms, and market conditions that makes each one unique. Appreciating the differences between these markets is vital for anyone looking to enter—or better understand—the space.”
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