IIDEA presented theEsports Digital Overview 2022new research that makes a complete picture of the world of export in Italy, created in collaboration with Nielsen. The goal is to analyze the events, channels and behavior of esports fans in our country.
The study highlights in particular the difference in trend of the two main platforms for the dissemination and use of content, Twitch and YouTubeand the growth of public interest in this form of competition and entertainment.
“Today in our country over 1,630,000 people follow an esports event several times a week. However, this figure, which testifies to how much competitive gaming is to be counted among the favorite entertainment activities of Italians, alone is not enough to analyze and interpret correct the phenomenon and lay the strategic foundations for further growth in the sector”, he commented Marco Saletta, President of IIDEA. “As an association, we have therefore intercepted this need and, in collaboration with Nielsen, carried out a targeted analysis on the habits of use of esports by fans and an in-depth analysis of their digital identikit with the aim of providing operators with a privileged point of view”.
Let’s read more details of the study:
The general overview of the esports world in Italy is based on the performance data of the first 10,000 Italian-language channels identified by hours watched by users in 2019, 2020 and 2021 on Twitch and YouTube. To make the comparison with the global data, the same approach was replicated by tracing the first 10,000 channels globally. From the analysis of the macro-data on the production and use of esports content at a digital level and from the comparison between the two platforms, it can be seen that the growth trend recorded for Twitch in 2020 was also reconfirmed in 2021, while it was not the same for YouTube, which has seen a decline in performance during the pandemic. The values recorded by Twitch for total hours watched, total views and total airtime are significantly higher than those of YouTube. The lower hours watched/airtime ratio on Twitch compared to YouTube highlights how the difference between the two platforms is stronger in terms of content creation than its use.
The analysis of the events is instead based on the performances obtained in terms of hours watched and the average number of viewers at the same time from the main national and international events broadcast in Italian on Twitch and YouTube in 2020 and 2021. In this context, the research reveals that the digital use of events broadcast in Italian continued to grow also in 2021, realizing an increase in terms of hours watched of 92% for national events and 52% for international ones. The presence on the podium of the most watched events of three League of Legends competitions highlights the title’s dominance in the competitive landscape. However, the scenario in terms of the most popular titles is increasingly fragmented: none of the games in the top 3 of Twitch is in fact also present in the top 3 of YouTube and, on both platforms, the first game (Call of Duty Warzone for Twitch and Rocket League for YouTube) does not reach 11% in terms of share.
“The 92% increase in terms of hours watched recorded by the main national competitions in 2021 highlights the growing interest of users in the competitive scenario. This aspect is even more evident if we compare the growth in the use of content gaming at a general level (data from the top 10,000 Italian channels on Twitch and YouTube) with that limited to the broadcasting of competitions”, said Luca Barbon, Account Manager of Nielsen Sports & Entertainment. “The use of international tournaments broadcast in Italian, in fact, grew more in 2021 than in 2020 (+52% and +26% respectively), while for gaming at an overall level (competitive and non-competitive) the opposite phenomenon was observed , which is a decrease in terms of percentage growth compared to our previous survey. So, while interest in gaming continues to grow, interest in competitive gaming seems to have picked up the pace.”
Finally, the mapping of esports fans is based on affinity indices between digital audiences and product categories or topics of interest (telco, fintech, food & snacks, energy drinks, personal care and sportswear). These indices were built starting from the overlap between fanbases of different accounts (i.e. followers in common). The digital identikit of the fans of the esports world that emerges from this analysis reveals a marked affinity with the fintech and crypto universe which is manifested in the partnerships that are starting to populate the international scene and beyond.
For the full study, click here.