Newzoo: The Esports Audience Will Pass Half a Billion in 2022

Newzoo: The Esports Audience Will Pass Half a Billion in 2022

Newzoo has launched the 2022 Global Esports and Live Streaming Market Report. The free, limited version of the report can be downloaded here.

2022 is on track to be another impressive year for esports audience growth:

  • The global esports audience will grow +8.7% year on year to reach 532 million.
  • Esports enthusiasts – those who watch esports content more than once a month – will account for just over 261 million.
  • Occasional viewers – those who watch esports content but less than once a month – will account for the remaining 271 million.

The main drivers behind esports audience growth are:

  • Popular new esports franchises such as Valorant, which build on Riot’s previous successes and experience from League and Legends.
  • Mobile esports’ expansion with regional leagues like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and League of Legends: Wild Rift.
  • The rise of esports in growth markets across Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.

The number of esports enthusiasts will grow to 318 million in 2025, with a CAGR of +8.1% (2020-2025). In 2025, the total audience will surpass 640 million.

Esports will generate nearly $1.38 billion in revenues globally by the end of 2022. China accounts for nearly a third of worldwide esports revenues.

While more mature esports markets like China and the US are most commonly exploring this diversification – and contribute most to absolute revenues – emerging markets will contribute most to growth. 

Regional Asia-Pacific esports revenues will grow by +17% year on year to reach $590.2 million in 2022, accounting for nearly 42% of global revenues.

Growing awareness around digital assets and NFTs will likely boost investment and fan interest in acquiring in-game items of esports IP. Blockchain gaming is a trending topic in the gaming market, the path to mainstream esports, but there are roadblocks preventing blockchain titles from breaking into esports, including pay-to-win aspects, fear of getting scammed, and the high price of admission.

The blockchain offers some exciting ways to engage fans, which the free report covers as well.

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