You have probably noticed that video games make up a huge segment of the market, particularly when it comes to advertising campaigns and major budgets. But what you may not have noticed (yet) is the steady rise of competitive gaming or eSports, as they have slowly become one of the biggest trends in entertainment for 2017; and radio is no exception.
Sports has always been a staple of radio content, and with good reason: built in audiences are lower hanging fruit. But where traditional pro sports can garner a respectable audience, eSports audiences can surpass even the MLB and NBA in terms of listeners and engagement.
Radio is already feeling the impact of this trend, with eSports now featured daily on SirusXM's Bleecher Report Radio and the recently announced Machinima Radio Show. Competitive eSports are also gaininig legitimacy as the prizes get bigger (over $61 million in 2015), and as respected institutions like UC Irvine invest in eSports training facilities and programs.
One reason for the rapid growth of the eSports community is that the games can reach a larger audience than traditional sports, thanks to the ease of participation. The 2015 global Esports Audience was pegged at approximately 226 million gamers, PLUS 115 million Esports Enthusiasts - and 2016 is expect to surpass 27.7% year over year growth.
Most importantly, advertisers and sponsors are jumping at the chance to get involved in something fresh, new, and focused on a key demographic: the millennial eSports fan. The eSports audience includes a valuable niche demo, skewing towards consumers with full-time jobs and relatively high income.
As a result, the eSports market is expected to reach $463 million in 2016, including roughly $128.2 million in brand sponsorships. Seeing as online advertising is the fastest growing revenue segment, this gives radio brands the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the eSports trend.
To get a jump on the eSports trend as part of your radio content planning, look for our follow-up blog offering some easy-to-integrate eSports content ideas for radio.
If your radio brand looking to grow their content strategy and digital advertising revenue, SoCast is ready to help. SoCast is a leading technology platform that helps make digital growth easy for radio. If you are interested in learning more, contact a SoCast Digital Specialist who will be happy to help!
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