How Many Viewers Does Esports Really Have?

Esports is growing in popularity, but how many viewers does it really have? This blog post looks at the numbers to give you a better idea.


A big question on a lot of people’s minds is “How many viewers does esports really have?”. And it’s a valid question! A lot of people are interested in the viewing numbers for esports in order to understand its current popularity and also its future potential.

The answer to this question is complicated, because there is no one simple answer. There are a variety of different ways to measure esports viewership, and each method has its own strengths and weaknesses. In addition, different esport titles have different levels of popularity, so it’s not possible to give a single number that represents the entire industry.

That being said, there are some estimates that we can look at in order to get a general idea of how many people are watching esports. One estimate comes from Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence for the gaming and esports industries. They estimated that there were nearly 450 million viewers of esports in 2017, which is a significant increase from their estimate of just over 300 million in 2016.

Another estimate comes from SuperData Research, which estimated that there were approximately 226 million viewers of esports in 2017. This number is slightly lower than Newzoo’s estimate, but it’s still a substantial amount of people.

It’s important to remember that these are just estimates, and the true number of viewers may be higher or lower than these estimates suggest. However, these estimates give us a general idea of the size of the esports audience, and they show that the audience is growing rapidly.

The Rise of Esports

With the rise of online streaming services like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, esports has seen a boom in popularity in recent years. But just how many people are tuning in to watch their favorite gamers compete?

A recent report by Newzoo estimates that the global esports audience will reach 380 million this year, with 175 million of those viewers considered “enthusiasts” (defined as those who watch esports content at least once a month). This is up from 340 million viewers in 2018.

Of course, these numbers vary depending on which region you’re looking at. North America and Europe make up the biggest portion of the global esports audience, with 175 million and 145 million viewers respectively. Asia-Pacific is not far behind with 120 million viewers.

Not surprisingly, the majority of esports viewers are young adults between the ages of 18 and 34. In fact, nearly 60% of all esports viewers are between 18 and 34 years old.

So just how big is the esports industry? Newzoo estimates that it will generate $1.1 billion in revenue this year, with $865 million coming from sponsorships and advertising and $266 million from media rights and game publisher fees. This is up from $856 million in 2018.

With such a large and rapidly growing audience, it’s no wonder that brands are eager to get involved in the world of esports. And as the industry continues to grow, we can expect to see even more brands jump on board in the years to come.

How Many Viewers Does Esports Really Have?

How many viewers does esports really have? According to a recent report by Activate, a consulting firm that tracks the esports industry, the answer is about 60 million. That’s a lot of people—but it’s important to put that number into perspective.

To start, it’s worth noting that Activate’s report is based on data from Newzoo, a market intelligence firm tracking the gaming industry. And according to Newzoo, there are about 2.2 billion gamers in the world—so 60 million represents just under 3% of the global gaming population.

That said, it’s also worth noting that Activate’s report only counts “occasional viewers” of esports—meaning people who watch esports content at least once per month. So while the number may not be as impressive as some might expect, it still represents a significant and growing audience for esports content.

In addition, it’s important to remember that the esports audience is still relatively young—with Activate finding that about 70% of occasional viewers are between the ages of 21 and 35. This means that the audience is likely to grow in the years ahead as more young people begin to watch esports content on a regular basis.

The Future of Esports

The growth of esports over the past few years has been astounding. In 2012, the global esports audience was just under 300 million people. By 2017, that number had grown to more than 385 million. And according to Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence for the gaming industry, that number is expected to exceed half a billion by 2021.

With such exponential growth, it’s no wonder that traditional sports leagues are taking notice and looking to get involved. The NBA has partnered with Take-Two Interactive Software to create the NBA 2K eLeague, which is set to launch in 2018. And the NFL is reportedly considering a similar league for its Madden NFL franchise.

But as esports continues to grow in popularity, there’s one big question that still remains: How many viewers does it really have?

One way to answer that question is to look at the viewing figures for some of the most popular esports events. For example, last year’s League of Legends World Championship finals had a peak concurrent viewership of 14.7 million people, which is more than double the 6.3 million who watched Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Another way to look at it is by comparing the amount of prize money being awarded at major tournaments. In 2017, The International – Dota 2’s annual world championship – had a prize pool of $24.8 million, which was more than double the $10 million that was up for grabs at Wimbledon.

So when it comes to viewer numbers and prize money, esports is already on par with traditional sports – and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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