At Machinima’s 2015 NewFront presentation, the gaming-centric multi-platform production company focused on the unveiling of new shows, more than a few of which were never produced. This year, it was all about the exploding esports vertical.
As the press release from Machinima put it, “in lieu of the typical NewFront song-and-dance, [the company] has brought together a number of prominent figures in eSports today” — Alex Rodriguez (host of Machinima’s “Inside eSports”), Mike Sepso of gamemaker Activsion Blizzard, Craig Barry of Turner eLeague, Jesse Wofford, digital sports marketing manager for Bud Light, Craig Levine, CEO of ESL/Turtle Entertainment America, and Joost Van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData Research — “to talk about how esports will evolve in the next 12–24 months and how brands can align themselves with esports in order to reach an enormous fan community that can be difficult to connect with.”
It’s not really a shift in strategy for Machinima, according to Don Reilley, the company’s head of national brand partnerships.
“We’ve played in the esports space for quite some time, with shows like ‘Chasing the Cup,’” Reilley told VideoInk. “We’re looking to continue down the path as a company that is the voice of the gamer, the voice of fandom, and tell the stories around esports in a unique way that allows all fans to get in, understand and enjoy.”
Machinima’s big announcements at the presentation were its launches of Mach-1, an agency designed to connect brands with gaming and eSports audiences, and Machinima Preferred, a programmatic network targeting gamers using the company’s proprietary Fan Segmentation models combined with quality and brand safety data from OpenSlate.
Machinima also unveiled a batch of statistics from a study it commissioned from SuperData:
- Over 188M people will watch competitive gaming this year, which is on track to reach a global audience of 302M by the end of 2020.
- The total worldwide market for esports will be $910M in 2016 and will grow to $1.3B by the end of 2019.
- Global revenue for the worldwide esports market will total $892.8M in 2016, up 19% year-over-year.
- Asia leads the current global esports market with $333M in revenues, followed by North America ($276M) and Europe ($266M).
- Direct consumer esports revenue grew 36% year-over-year, with esports enthusiasts spending $231M on tickets, merchandise, prize pool contributions, etc.
- Esports audiences are predominantly male (86%) and over a third (36%) are between 25 and 34 years old.
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