eSports and Direct To Consumer Video Platforms

Miles Weaver
Miles Weaver Marketing Director

Last week we looked at why direct to consumer video solutions are a natural fit for sports clubs, federations and clubs around the world. The potential for reach and audience engagement offered by D2C video platforms, alongside the ability to present immersive video content experiences across an entire catalogue is a natural fit for sports clubs and organisations, who have some of the most engaged and committed fans in the world.

But it’s not just traditional sports that can benefit from direct to consumer video platforms, eSports is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with an estimated global viewership of 500 million people tuning in to watch their favourite players and teams compete. With an entirely digitally native audience that is growing (and spending) at an exponential rate, there has never been a better time for new leagues and teams to launch direct to consumer video platforms to reach and engage their fans.

eSports have almost exclusively always been consumed online, but largely have been accessed through large aggregation platforms like YouTube, Twitch or Major League Gaming (though traditional broadcasters like Sky, ITV, ESPN, TBS, BBC and Bt Sport have also gotten involved to screen tournaments in the recent past). While 173,000 fans attended the Intel Extreme Masters series in Poland earlier this year, 46 million people watched online.

“ESports has seen huge growth over the past couple of years among millennial and Generation Z audiences,” Curt Marvis, chief executive and co-founder of QYOU Media, a media company that specialises in curating and distributing made-for-web video content, told Broadcast Magazine. “These digital natives have grown up on a diet of short-form online video through platforms such as YouTube, Daily Motion and Vimeo, and they are also the largest demographic for video gaming.”

There is an enormous opportunity to engage this viewership either from the perspective of a specific team (e.g. Flash Wolves), league (Dreamhack), genre (e.g. third person shooters) or game title (e.g. Street Fighter or Fortnite), with a video platform that enable them to watch all the related content that they want within an experience that is tailored to their needs. By giving them the additional ability to do things like share, chat, rate, engage with players directly or get deeper insight into the games they’re watching and playing the potential for creating a massively engaged audience is strong.

eSports fans are already some of the most passionate in the world, following, talking about and playing the games that they are most passionate about religiously. Giving them the opportunity to do that on a platform designed around their needs and their community can be a surefire way to get them to engage with you directly, creating new monetisation pathways, revenue opportunities and rich mines of data and analytics that are unavailable when going through third party sources. And while your reach may be smaller with an owned and operated platform that on, say, YouTube, the level of engagement from each viewer is far deeper and more meaningful, giving you access to the customers you most need to engage with on a much more frequent basis.

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Miles Weaver

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Miles Weaver Marketing Director
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