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Esports Fans on Twitch Aren’t Into Watching Television, Says Nielsen Study

Less than 40% of the Twitch eSports viewership claim to watch television on a weekly basis and only 50% own a paid TV subscription service, according to a new study by data research firm Nielsen.

The firm announced its study into the behavior of eSports fans this Thursday, focusing on users who have viewed streams for games like “League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” and “Fortnite” on Twitch over the past year.

Among the insights gleaned from this data, Nielsen reports more than 60 percent of Twitch users said they have followed eSports for over four years. By comparison, within the broader community, U.S. esports followers only one in five have been following for that long, with 23 percent new to esports within the past year.

In another pivot away from televised media, a whopping 70% of Twitch users dedicate more time to eSports than they do to traditional sports, while over 60% of users actively watch and engage with online gaming personalities on a daily basis, preferring YouTubers to sportscasters.

Nielsen has collected its data using an online survey given to members of the Twitch Research Power Group, a proprietary panel of 50,000 Twitch viewers across the U.S. The data firm focused on a pool of 2,000 users between ages 18 through 40 for the basis of this survey.

This data provides information to eSports organizations and investors who seek to gain a better understanding of the attitudes and behavioral tendencies of the Twitch audience, according to Nielsen Esports’ managing editor Nicole Pike.

“As we continue to support our esports clients, a common theme has been their need for an even more detailed view of the esports audience to support data-driven business decisions,” said Pike in a prepared statement.

“At Nielsen, we know the power of viewership and how it can enrich an already valuable data set like our Fan Insights work. Given Twitch’s depth of content and reach across esports properties, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them since this marks a natural evolution for our annual research.”

“Twitch caters to the many interests of gamers with esports among the more popular types of entertainment we offer,” said Andrea Garabedian, VP of Advertiser Marketing at Twitch.

“By providing Nielsen with an opportunity to survey our community, they were able to surface data that reflects the passionate nature of our esports fans. Based on the amount of time these gamers spend on our service and their familiarity with the scene, from the games to the sponsors, it is clear that Twitch represents an ideal destination for brands trying to connect with this audience.”

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