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.]