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.)

More Digital

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content