British Esports Association

New reports show the size of growth in esports

News - 21 Feb 2017

Esports numbers are in the increase, according to analysts Newzoo and Nielsen.

Newzoo has said in its 2017 Global Esports Market Report that the esports economy will grow to $696 million in 2017 - an increase of 41% over last year.

If the year-on-year increase continues like it does by 2020, esports will be a $1.5 billion global industry.

Newzoo also says the number of esports participants globally will reach 58.4 million this year, up from 49.8 million in 2016. 

Here's the economy breakdown:

And audience growth figures:

Taking a look at its audience forecast you can see that in 2016 esports reached over 320 million people, and it's expected to reach the 400 million mark this year. The number of people who would consider themselves ‘enthusiasts’ is also expected to grow by over 50%, and global awareness of esports will reach 1.3 billion.

Elsewhere, Nielsen published a report titled ‘The Growing Realm of Esports’, mentioning that the US esports fanbase grew to over 45 million people in 2016, up from 25.7 million in 2015.


What about Western Europe?

Newzoo states that in 2017, there will be 22.6 million esports enthusiasts in Western Europe and a total audience of 47.8 million. 

The number of enthusiasts will grow with a compound annual growth rate (2016 to 2020) of 8.9% to 28.6 million by 2020. 

Western Europe is also the second-largest region in terms of esports revenues worldwide. In 2017, the market will reach $151.3 million and this will grow to $279.8 million by 2020. 

Most revenues in Western Europe are generated by sponsorship, which will be worth $54.5 million in 2017 and almost double to $107.4 million by 2020. 

Media rights is the fastest growing revenue steam (2016 to 2020 compound annual growth rate of 55.6%) and will bring in $73.1 million by 2020. Newzoo says this will be driven by an increase in local broadcasters bidding for content rights.


10 new stats demonstrating the growth of esports

  • The esports economy will grow to $696 million in 2017 - an increase of 41% over last year (Newzoo)
  • The esports fanbase grew by 76% in the past year (Nielson)
  • Brands are expected to spend $517 million, broken down into $155 million on advertising, $266 million on sponsorship, and a further $95 million on media rights. Brand investment will double by 2020,(Newzoo)
  • Consumer spending this year on tickets and merchandise will amount to $64 million (Newzoo)
  • $116 million is invested by game publishers into the esports industry through partnership deals with white-label organizers (Newzoo)
  • China and NA will generate $362m in 2017, or 52% of global esports revenues (Newzoo)
  • The global esports audience will reach 385 million in 2017, made up of 191 million esports enthusiasts and a further 194 million occasional viewers (Newzoo)
  • The number of esports fans is expected to grow by another 50% toward 2020, totaling 286 million (Newzoo)
  • North America is the largest esports market, with revenues of $257 million in 2017. This is set to more than double to reach $607 million by 2020 (Nielson)