Wednesday, 15 March 2017 05:39

Study forecasts big revenue rise from streamed games

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A rise in the consumption of eSports and streamed games has been predicted to lead to US$3.5 billion in revenue by 2021, a big rise from a figure of US$1.8 billion in 2017.

A study by Juniper Research claimed that while platforms like Twitch, which use a subscription model, would contibute some part of these revenues, the major share of income will be from advertising.

Almost 90% of eSports and Let's Play viewers would be watching ad-supported casual games streams four years from now, Juniper predicted.

The research firm said that commentary on streams of the playing of video games, known as Let's Play, had grown in popularity.

Much of this was due to viewers wanting to improve their own gameplay plus a dedicated following of individual broadcasters on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.

Juniper put forward the argument that companies which wanted to make money off this trend should join hands with a streamer who shared their values or else follow closely content that was publicly published.

Research author Lauren Foye explained: “As we saw following PewDiePie’s recent controversial videos, a breach of a sponsor’s values can result in the termination of lucrative partnerships.

"Nevertheless, a rise in PewDiePie’s channel engagement following the scandal highlights a quandary sponsors are facing.”

She added: "Whilst advertising, and increasingly tips, are dominant in the viewership of casual games streaming, eSports content has begun to be monetised through alternative means.

"Juniper believes that the sale of merchandise, time-limited content (such as in-game items), and access passes, will form part of a wider trend to drive the industry forwards. As we saw with DOTA 2’s 2016 ‘The International’ tournament, sales of additional content boosted the prize pool by US$18 million."

The study, titled eSports, "Let’s Play & Watch Play: Competitive Tournaments & Content Streaming 2017-2021", can be downloaded from Juniper's website.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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