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More than 60 percent of esports fans on Twitch said that they have followed competitive gaming for more than four years, according to a research study by market researcher Nielsen.

In contrast, among the broader U.S. esports audience, only 1-in-5 have been following this long, with 23 percent new to esports within the past year. Nielsen surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. esports fans who follow games like League of Legends, Overwatch League, and Fortnite.

The report has data that marketers, rights holders, and esports organizations can use to make decisions for investments, sponsorship and advertising, Nielsen said. It also said that 50 percent of Twitch esports fans have a paid TV subscription service; less than 40 percent claim to view television on a weekly basis.

And 90 percent of Twitch esports fans can recall at least one nongaming related sponsor within esports. That’s good for brands that might want to sponsor esports events.


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Esports fans are more likely to spend time engaging with esports over traditional sports — Twitch fans significantly so, with 70 percent dedicating more time to esports than traditional. Nielsen also found that 60 percent of Twitch esports fans engage with gaming personalities on a daily basis, and nearly one in three viewed at least five hours of live Fortnite video content on Twitch in the past year.

“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 Nicole Pike, managing director at Nielsen Esports, in a 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.”

Nielsen collected the Twitch Esports Fan data via an online survey deployed among a representative group of U.S.-based users from the Twitch Research Power Group (RPG).


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