A Nielsen study entitled “The Esports Playbook: Maximizing Investment Through Understanding The Fans” has revealed some interesting facts on numbers.
The headline is that while 71% of respondents believe that esports will become a mainstream activity in the near future, only 53% consider esports to be an actual sport.
Nielsen’s newly former Nielsen Esports business vertical claims the study is the “first-of-its-kind”, and delves deep into the behaviours of esports fans. The study polled esports fans in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. 1,000 esports fans between the ages of 13-40 were queried in each country.
The report also talks about the possibility of esports as an olympic sport. Esports and the Olympics has been generating a lot of buzz recently, although according to the report, only 28% of esports fans across the four countries think that esports should become an Olympic sport.
“Across the four markets surveyed, while 52% of esports fans consider it to be an actual sport, only 28% believe it should be an Olympic sport,” writes the report. “While Tony Estanguet, the former canoeist-turned IOC-member who has helped lead Paris 2024’s Olympic bid, has recently spoken positively about esports’ chances – “we have to look at it because we can’t say, ‘it’s not us, it’s not about the Olympics’”, he told the Associated Press in August – there remain many uncertainties, not least how any Olympic esports competition would be structured and which games - or, in particular, genres - would be involved. The inclusion of esports would likely help the Olympics reach the new, younger demographic it desires; a more pertinent question might be whether esports needs Olympic status to help accelerate its development.”
The report sheds further doubt on esports inclusion in the Olympic program. We’ve previously talked about some of the issues that the Olympics will have to overcome to bring esports aboard, but this survey seems to indicate that very few esports fans even want the Olympics to host esports.
That’s slightly unfair of course. The biggest audience of Olympics isn’t necessarily esports fans and that was never likely to happen, however it seems the already established fanbase for esports, at least in these four countries, is against it.
Nielsen’s report,available to read in full here, is looking to add Japan, China and South Korea to the report before the end of 2017.