The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board


The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board (Photo: Nielsen)

The Next Level Joins Nielsen's eSports Advisory Board (Photo: Nielsen)

I'm thrilled to announce that The Next Level has joined Nielsen's newly launched eSports advisory board as part of Nielsen Esports to provide insight on audience measurement and validation.

-Manny Anekal

The list of advisory board members:

  • ESL
  • ESPN
  • Facebook
  • FIFA
  • Google YouTube
  • Major League Gaming/Activision Blizzard
  • NBA 2K eLeague
  • Sony PlayStation
  • The Next Level
  • Turner
  • Twitch
  • Twitter
  • Unilever

Nielsen today announced the launch of Nielsen Esports, a new business vertical focused on competitive gaming that will leverage the company’s expertise and leadership in media consumption and valuation. Nielsen Esports will provide sponsorship valuation, fan insights, custom industry research and consulting services to rights holders, media platforms and brands around the world that are moving this fast-growing market forward.

Esports has experienced massive global growth over the past few years with major investment from blue chip sponsors, game publishers and media companies, as well as sports leagues and teams. The esports fan base is also rapidly expanding with nearly one in three fans beginning to follow esports just within the past year, according to new Nielsen Esports research.

“There’s a high demand for reliable, independent measurement of value in esports,” said Howard Appelbaum, President, Nielsen Entertainment. “We’re excited to enhance our client offerings and provide the industry with solutions that will help guide and optimize investment decisions in this exciting, growing space.”

Recognizing the need for consistent sponsorship valuation in esports, Nielsen developed Esport24, a syndicated sponsorship tracking service for esports tournaments. The service measures brand exposure in esports tournaments representing a variety of titles, event formats and geographic locations based on the same methodology that allows traditional sports rights holders and brands to quantify value and benchmark performance.

Nielsen Esports will also release global fan insights throughout the year, with a new research offering spanning the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, and China in 2017.

As part of this new business vertical, Nielsen has created an esports advisory board of industry stakeholders who will provide insight to help shape the future of esports audience measurement and valuation. Members include representatives from ESL, ESPN, Facebook, FIFA, Major League Gaming/Activision Blizzard, NBA 2K eLeague, The Next Level, Sony PlayStation, Turner, Twitch, Twitter, Unilever, and Google YouTube.

PWC Releases Realistic eSports Revenue Research


PWC's 2017 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook (Photo: PWC)

PWC's 2017 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook (Photo: PWC)

TNL Take: Over the weekend I received trademark # 87882149 from the USPTO for the acronym RRR™ for Ridiculous Research Report.

As the spotlight on eSports continues to grow and with further exposure to a "mainstream" audience, as with any new opportunity; there will be a rush for a slice of the pie.

I've lost count how many eSports RRR™'s I've read in the last month.

I'm not even going to bother to show the most recent one from Pacific Crest Securities but here are my tweets on its absurdity.

So I was pretty shocked when PWC released their latest Global Entertainment and Media Outlook for 2017-2021 and their eSports ad revenue estimates were actually in the ballpark.

Before getting to the current research, let's rewind the clock a bit. Last year, PWC released their first eSports study.

As I wrote, in The Next Level 003, I thought the research didn't make any sense and even spoke to Chris Lederer, a Principal at PWC about how they came to their findings.

While the previous report could be filed under the "research" category, PWC's annual Entertainment and Media Outlook is loaded with actual data and numbers.

While there has been a huge increase in Brands investing within eSports - which is a fantastic thing - the budgets are Belarusian Ruble's compared to the massive dollars those same Brands spend on TV or Facebook.

TNL Infographic 032: Q1 2017: The Brands That Invested In eSports (Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

TNL Infographic 032: Q1 2017: The Brands That Invested In eSports (Graphic: Jordan Fragen)

Here are PWC's estimates for 2016:

  • US Total Revenue: $108M
  • US Ad Streaming Revenue: $33M
  • US Ad Sponsorship Revenue: $44M

Those are by far the most realistic eSports ad revenue estimates I've seen. For perspective, the ludicrous Morgan Stanley Overwatch League research base case revenue estimate for Sponsorships is $30M - for just the league.

While we've hit 50 Brands investing within eSports so far this year - which is on pace to double 2016's total - the number that are investing over $1M+ are very small currently.  That will only continue to increase as we're already seeing several Brand renewals this year with increased spend.

Any research that reflects the true state of the industry is a welcome signal against a wall of noise.

[Ed: The trademark # is a joke. Please don't look it up.]