Esports Industry to Reach $1.1 Billion in 2021 Revenue
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March 12, 2021

Esports Industry to Reach $1.1 Billion in 2021 Revenue

According to Newzoo, a leading gaming and esports market analytics firm, global esports industry revenue will hit $1.084 billion in 2021. This is an increase of 14.5%, up from $947.1 million in 2020, with media rights and sponsorships contributing to over 75% of total esports revenue.

Newzoo Report

In its Global Esports and Live Streaming Market Report, Newzoo reports that the increase in revenue is largely attributed to the increasing number of streamers across the world. The firm expects the growth in streaming revenue to increase each year until 2024, when the market resumes natural growth.

COVID-19’s disruption to the esports industry has led to a large decline in ticket revenue. The cancellation of in-person events that usually attract thousands of fans decreased sales of esports-related merchandise. Due to the effects of the pandemic, Newzoo reports that organizations, influencers, and publishers are diversifying for a more stable market in the future.

In 2024, when the market resumes normalcy, streaming rates should stay in double digits in Latin America and other developing countries. The global streaming audience will even grow by 9.2% to reach 920.3 million. However, this number may decrease when esports organizers and event managers plan for live events again.

Esports Industry 2021 Revenue

The global esports audience is expected to grow to 474 million, representing year-on-year growth of 8.7%. By the end of 2021, the number of fans who watch esports over once a month will grow to 234 million people. The average revenue per esports enthusiast will be $4.63 in 2021, a 2.8% increase from $4.40 in 2020. And with over 92.8 million fans, China can expect the most growth in 2021, followed by the U.S. and Brazil.

Newzoo also reports the uptrend in esports to the ongoing infrastructural developments in other growth markets. In 2020, the meteoric rise of mobile esports was driven in large part by the convenience of mobile gaming. This surge in mobile esports continues to increase with titles like Wild Rift and PUBG Mobile.

VALORANT drove 846 million watch hours on Twitch and YouTube in 2020, becoming one of the most successful esports releases of 2020. In 2021, Newzoo expects even more major releases from top publishers to meet the demand and expectations of the burgeoning esports industry audience.

Finally, global tournaments can expect millions in 2021 viewership as more people stream their favorite titles. In 2020, the League of Legends World Championship became the biggest tournament by live viewership hours on YouTube and Twitch. With 91.9 million hours of live viewership, League set a high bar for esports tournaments in 2021.

Written by Daniella Johnson

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