×

Nielsen Looks to Cash in on eSports Craze With New Research and Consulting Group

Nielsen is officially climbing into the competitive-gaming arena.

The research and measurement firm announced the launch of Nielsen Esports, a new business unit within Nielsen Entertainment focused on the rapidly growing sector. Nielsen Esports will deliver global research on sponsorship valuation and eSports audiences, as well as consulting services.

For the new unit Nielsen has created an eSports advisory board with reps from ESL, ESPN, Facebook, FIFA, Major League Gaming and Activision Blizzard, NBA 2K League, the Next Level, Sony PlayStation, Turner, Twitch, Twitter, Unilever, and YouTube.

Nielsen Esports will be led by two execs who are expanding their roles within the Nielsen Entertainment group: Stephen Master, managing director of Nielsen Sports North America, and Nicole Pike, VP of Nielsen Games.

ESports is hot — and growing on a hockey-stick trajectory. In 2017, sector revenue is expected to increase 41%, to $696 million, hitting $1.5 billion by 2020, according to estimates by Amsterdam-based research firm Newzoo. The global audience of core eSports fans will hit 191 million in 2017, growing 50% by 2020 to 286 million, Netzoo predicts.

According to Nielsen Esports research, nearly one in three eSports fans today say they began following competitive gaming in the past year.

“There’s a high demand for reliable, independent measurement of value in esports,” said Nielsen Entertainment president Howard Appelbaum.

Products in the Nielsen Esports portfolio include Esport24, a syndicated sponsorship-tracking service for eSports tournaments. Playoff rounds of major tournaments this year have yielded anywhere from $75,000 to almost $17 million in sponsorship value, according to the company’s analysis. Nielsen Esports also will release research on the global fanbase throughout the year, spanning the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and China in 2017.

(Pictured above: ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters tournament in Katowice, Poland.)

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey

    Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey as Chief Executive Officer

    Independent audiobook publisher Podium Publishing has selected veteran media executive Scott P. Dickey as chief executive officer. Greg Lawrence, former CEO and co-founder,  remains as Podium’s publisher and a member of the board of directors. As CEO, Dickey will set and implement the day-to-day and long-term marketing, production and business strategy for the company as [...]

  • "The Stockholm Syndrome" - Pictured: Rajesh

    Inside the Blockbuster $600 Million 'Big Bang Theory' Streaming Deal With HBO Max

    As one of TV’s most popular shows of the past 20 years, “The Big Bang Theory” was sure to command a huge price when the streaming rights were finally shopped in a red-hot market for iconic comedies with large libraries. But “Big Bang Theory” wasn’t shopped widely on the open market before the streaming pact [...]

  • Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

    Mark Zuckerberg Can Be Overruled by Facebook's New Oversight Board on Content Decisions

    Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, can’t be ousted by investors — he owns a controlling interest in the company’s voting shares. But according to the social giant, the new Oversight Board — colloquially called Facebook’s “Supreme Court” — that it is setting up to adjudicate appeals about whether to leave up or take [...]

  • YouTube - Google UK Offices

    Google Launches Ability to Find Key Moments in YouTube Videos via Search

    Google has introduced a new way to find exact moments in YouTube videos through its search engine, with initial partners including CBS Sports. According to Google, search results now will provide links to key moments within the video — if, that is, YouTube content creators have provided the necessary timestamp information to Google. “You’ll be [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify VP Paul Vogel Talks Subscription Prices, Label Licenses, Podcasts

    The annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference gives representatives from major companies the opportunity to present to the investment community, and Paul Vogel, Spotify’s VP and head of financial planning & analysis, treasury and investor relations, spoke on the streaming giant’s behalf on Tuesday morning. While many of his comments were statements frequently heard in the [...]

  • Directv Now

    AT&T Sued for Allegedly Creating Bogus DirecTV Now Accounts

    A group of investors sued AT&T, alleging the telco artificially inflated subscriber counts for its DirecTV Now streaming service — including by creating fake accounts. In the federal class-action lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that AT&T wanted to make DirecTV Now seem more successful than it actually was as another way to rationalize its $85 billion [...]

  • Streaming Battle: Disney, Apple and More

    The Battle for Eyeballs Makes for an Action-Packed Streaming Arena (Column)

    It came as no surprise last week that Disney CEO Bob Iger had resigned from the Apple board since the two companies are poised to launch competing subscription streaming services in less than two months. But Iger’s departure (announced the same day that Apple revealed its Nov. 1 launch date and $5-a-month price point) underscores [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content