- Ginx to launch D2C channel
- Sky and ITV invest in esports
- 410m active esport fans
Ginx chief executive Michiel Bakker has revealed that the esports firm is currently developing its own direct-to-consumer (D2C) offering which will launch at the end of summer.
Speaking at the DTG Summit in London, he said: “We have an advantage because esports is a digital native phenomenon.
“The platform will be bespoke and have gamification features to incentivise people to play.”
Bakker explained how its business model is evolving with Ginx branded leagues helping to drive the digital engagement and awareness of esports through collaboration with broadcast media companies.
He said: “Esports is looking at TV with dollar signs…it is a rapidly evolving landscape and brands are coming into the market and are more comfortable there.”
Despite little uptake in the mainstream broadcasting market, esports has grown into a billion-dollar enterprise through channels such as Twitch, Ginx, YouTube and visa Facebook.
Ginx relies on audience engagement with its native online esports tournaments as well as the physical and online entertainment.
Bakker pointed to the “multiple ways” for broadcasters to get involved with sports, he said: “Turner has created a big budget [esports] league with TV centric staging and better production values.”
Japanese broadcaster Nippon TV and NBC Universal also have esports teams and are testing different models of engagement.
He added the financial investment from Sky and ITV in Ginx means: “[Broadcast] TV can bring the quality of storytelling to esports and take it more into the mainstream.
“TV is very good at telling stories and focussing on the human aspect. Gaming and esports in general is not very good at that.”
Ginx was founded in 2008 to showcase esports tournaments and is now dedicated to broadcasting international esports in 10 languages across 50 countries and in more than 55 million homes.
The esports phenomenon
Futuresource Consulting associate director Carl Hibbert opened the esports session highlighting the rapid evolution of esports in a very succinct amount of time.
He defined esports as: “A monetised video gaming competition with an audience.”
In its upcoming research report, Hibbert shared some “phenomenal” results ahead of its publication.
Esports in numbers:
- 4,000 global esports tournaments.
- $200 million total prize pool from tournaments – comparatively the ATP tour prize total was $135 million.
- Global audience in 2018 reached 410 million people with 165 million active users for over five hours per week.
- Twitch paid $90 million for the rights to Overwatch League.
- Total market worth is $922 million from media rights, fan spend and sponsorship.
- 2019 forecast expected to exceed $1 billion in esports revenue.
- Strong growth expected over the next five years with uptake in LATAM and APAC.