Gamers Don’t Care About Esports, And Neither Should You 07/29/2020


  • by Alan Fox
    , Op-Ed Contributor,
    July 28, 2020

Esports have been tempting marketers for years as a way to reach an ever-growing and influential young audience that makes up about two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennial consumers. That audience is
projected to grow exponentially, with Business Insider predicting its global reach of 646 million viewers by the year 2023. 

Indeed, gaming in general is having a massive impact on Gen Z
and Millennial consumption diets – in fact, research undertaken by Mediahub’s consumer insights tool, Scout, has shown that if you’re a gamer, a whopping 42% of your daily media
consumption is dedicated to gaming. But what’s not captured by recent headlines is that gaming content is much bigger and more nuanced than just esports. 

One
example: New data from NewZoo shows that only 6.5% of a total 3.4 billion viewership hours on Twitch and YouTube gaming in Q1 2020 was dedicated to esports. That leaves billions of hours for other
gaming content. 

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Esports, the term, has become shorthand for what is actually a much broader gaming ecosystem, and has conflated how marketers perceive the category.  Simply assuming
esports is the default answer inadvertently leaves eyeballs, influence and revenue on the table.  

Here are three guidelines brands can follow to help expand their gaming strategies
beyond esports for better engagement. 

Remember That Gaming Is Not Just A Hobby, It’s A Full-Blown Media Channel 

We are used to thinking of
“gaming” as something people do, not content people consume. The reality is that gaming is now the dominant media channel for Gen Z and Millennial gamers, with research showing that it
accounts for a larger percentage of time-spent than TV and streaming combined. 

But related marketing spend hasn’t kept pace. Our research found that while streaming accounts for
21% of gamers’ media diets, brands are spending a collective $15.7 billion.  Compare this to gaming, which accounts for 37% of their media diet, but where brands are only spending $1.5
billion. 

Brands need to start thinking about gaming alongside other media more broadly, developing media and content plans for this channel as they would for other strategic media
opportunities. 

Acknowledge That “Gamertainment” Is A Major Pillar Of Pop Culture 

There was a term coined a few years ago that doesn’t get as
much credit as it deserves: “Gamertainment.”  It’s the idea that there’s an entire culture of entertainment that emanates from, and exists around,…



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