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When it comes to esports and streaming media, Asia already has well-established players serving a variety of needs. But according to SuperData research manager Carter Rogers, there are still lucrative opportunities that you can take advantage of if you’re looking in the right place.
SuperData is a market research company that specializes in tracking both revenue and viewership numbers in digital video game sales and interactive media (which includes virtual reality, esports, and live-streaming platforms). Carter’s job is to take that data and use it to come up with what SuperData calls “actionable intelligence” that its clients can use to improve their businesses.
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“There’s a lot of revenue opportunity in Asia in esports. We estimate that revenue-wise, Asia generated about — this year will generate about 53 percent of worldwide esports revenue. Worldwide it’s a little over a billion dollars this year. The global esports audience is around 300 million people this year,” says Rogers.
While those are impressive numbers, it’s important to consider that unlike the U.S., Asia has a long history of esports and other gaming-related spectator activities. For example, South Korea has long been a hotbed for professional gaming, with organized competitions dating as far back as the late ‘90s.
Because of this history, a lot of Asian markets already have entrenched businesses — such as Chinese live-streaming platforms Douyu and Panda TV — that’d be difficult for outsiders to compete with.
“But we’re seeing some emerging markets really grow in importance,” Rogers adds. “Vietnam’s importance rose in the League of Legends ecosystem. The top performer there is now guaranteed a slot in the League of Legends World Championship, out of 24 teams. That really shows the region’s prominence has grown in some ways, outside of just China and South Korea.”
Rogers suggests that newcomers should look into more underserved areas, like providing short highlights from matches or helping existing companies improve the technology behind their esports broadcasts.
“There are several companies that offer tools to improve the spectator modes, create interactive layovers, that sort of thing. We’ll see a lot of opportunities for companies that want to improve interactivity in their esports viewing, because interactivity is really expected among the modern esports fans. It’s why esports on TV aren’t necessarily the end-all be-all.
“People want the interactivity they get on their PC or smartphone, like typing into the chat window. That’s still the case in Asia, or anywhere in the world,” says Rogers.
Another area companies could focus on is mobile esports. While consoles and PCs are the dominant form of gaming in the U.S. and Europe, people in Asia tend to prefer gaming on their smartphones. One of the biggest mobile games in China, for instance, is Tencent’s Honor of Kings (known in the west as Arena of Valor), a free multiplayer online battle arena game similar to the PC-only League of Legends. It has more than 200 million players.
“A lot of Asian countries don’t have a console gaming heritage. Players didn’t grow up playing consoles. … When gaming got popular in many of these countries, it was either through Internet cafes on PC, or through smartphones. Especially in emerging markets, that’s the main computing device, so that’s where people play hardcore games,” Rogers explains.
He points out that some of the most successful mobile developers in the world — like the Finland-based Supercell (creator of Clash of Clans) and San Francisco’s Niantic (Pokémon Go) — have been able to succeed in Asia because they have unique concepts and “universally appealing” designs. Both studios regularly update their games with new content as well.
“It used to be that games were standalone products. You’d buy it at the store for $50 or $60. Games became more of a service, but now they’re almost a medium, for streamers, for sports competition. The game is the medium and the live streaming platform is the canvas, for example. Gaming has certainly gone mainstream, but it’s also become just a component of a much larger and wider selection of entertainment media,” says Rogers.
If you want to learn more about how you can break into the APAC streaming content market, make sure to attend our upcoming VB Live event.
Don’t miss out!
You’ll learn about:
- The opportunities provided by the growth in the streaming content market in APAC
- What’s causing the streaming content surge and market growth
- What technology makes this explosive growth possible on a global scale
- How smart companies can cash in on the streaming media craze, particularly in APAC markets
- Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat
- Johannes Waldstein, CEO, FanAI Inc.
- Carter Rogers, Senior Analyst, SuperData Research
- Roc Harry, Relationship Director, Worldpay
Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat
Sponsored by Worldpay
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