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Esports 2019

eMarketer’s Forecast for US Audience, US Ad Revenue Growth

About This Report
Esports has evolved into a huge, global business with attractive marketing opportunities for brands looking to connect with young, digitally savvy and engaged fans.
Table of Contents

Competitive, organized video gaming is a multibillion-dollar, global business with opportunities for marketers to not only reach fans through traditional means, but also engage with them on a deeper level than the legacy sports ecosystem allows.

How big is the esports audience, and what is its growth outlook?

Audiences for esports are large and growing. We expect esports viewers to grow by a total of 52.5% between now and 2023, reaching 46.2 million at that time. Further, beyond the confines of organized competitions, there’s an even bigger world of players and fans of gaming video content. Most of this activity happens on digital viewing platforms, and what they lack in scale compared with broadcast or premium cable channels, they make up for in higher targetability, measurability and engagement.

How are esports monetized?

There are multiple revenue streams connected to esports. Like other aspects of this ecosystem, estimates of revenues yield diverging and sometimes contradictory data. However, most industry experts agree that advertising, sponsorships, media rights, ticket sales to live events and merchandising are among the main monetization channels. All of them are expected to grow in an all-boats-rising scenario.

What opportunities and challenges does the world of esports present for marketers?

The esports fan is a conundrum for brand marketers. However, once they peel back the layers on this audience, marketers realize that esports viewers tend to be loyal, tuned-in, digitally savvy and more affluent than the average consumer. The trick is learning where, when and how to reach them.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at the worldwide esports market, focusing on audience metrics, monetization, viewing channels and marketing opportunities in regions with the highest levels of activity and potential for future growth.

KEY STAT: US ad spending on esports streams will reach $213.8 million in 2020, a 20% increase over the $178.1 million spent this year. These figures are just one revenue stream in a larger global market for esports and gaming video content.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

7expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Esports 101
  2. Audience
  3. Monetization
  4. Media Channels
  1. Marketing Opportunities
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Sam Asfahani
OS Studios
Interviewed February 22, 2019
Josh Cella
Blizzard Entertainment
Head of Global Partnerships, Esports Leagues
Interviewed February 14, 2019
Brendan Donohue
NBA 2K League
Managing Director
Interviewed February 22, 2019
Ann Hand
Super League Gaming
CEO and Chairman
Interviewed February 27, 2019
Dan Kelley
Director, Corporate Marketing
Interviewed February 26, 2019
Grant Paranjape
Monumental Sports Entertainment
Director, Esports Business and Team Operations
Interviewed February 19, 2019
Brad Sive
Team SoloMid (TSM)
Chief Revenue Officer
Interviewed February 22, 2019


Paul Verna


Chris Bendtsen
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Blake Droesch
Junior Analyst
Eric Haggstrom
Forecasting Analyst
Victoria Petrock
Principal Analyst
Sharon Tan
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst
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