The esports industry is expected to exceed $1 billion in 2020, according to Futuresource.
In 2019 the active competitive gaming fanbase grew by 18 per cent, as 480 million fans regularly tuned in to watch organised tournaments.
The largest share of regular esports viewers fall into the 16-35 age bracket, making esports an effective means of targeted advertisement among younger consumers, Futuresource said.
The consultancy added that esports is “intensifying competition for consumers’ free time amongst entertainment providers,” with a total of 5 billion hours spent watching tournaments online in 2019.
Futuresource also noted that Netflix recently identified gaming as bigger competition than other SVoD services in terms of consumer viewing time.
Futuresource’s Luke Pearce said: “Esports is a digital native form of entertainment, with most of the content consumed online and whilst there have been attempts to bring competitive gaming to linear channels, the traditional online platforms remain the most popular.
“These include Amazon owned Twitch, YouTube Gaming and up and coming platforms such as Mixer, as well as a host of Chinese platforms that cater to the vast swathes of Chinese viewers.”