Kadence and Akamai’s report, ‘Esports market sizing: China, Japan and South Korea‘, details viewership and participation data by device and game genre. Asia is experiencing huge growth in esports with millions watching and playing.

China is leading the charge and is the second-biggest country, after the US, with estimated revenues of $164m in 2018 and an audience of 125m. South Korea too is a global leader in the space, with many of the world’s best players, host to some of the biggest tournaments and the first country to recognise professional gamers as athletes. While Japan’s esports market may not be as mature, it is the fastest growing in the region and one to watch out for.

The Esports market sizing: China, Japan and South Korea report covers a number of areas of interest, including:

  1. Audience snapshot
    1. A serious spectator sport largely driven by 18-34 year-olds
    2. China: High penetration of esports online viewership, driven by a wide age-range of fans
    3. Japan: esports online viewership is concentrated among 18-34 year-olds
    4. South Korea: 18-34 year-olds drive esports viewership
  2. Viewing preferences
    1. The growing popularity of watching online games through streaming platforms
    2. Streaming online gaming is very popular, especially in China and South Korea
    3. Growing live spectatorship
    4. Regular viewers of esports are likely to watch for at least 2 hours
    5. Growing esports participation
    6. Extremely high awareness of all streaming sites
  3. Device choices
    1. Mobile devices are the device of choice for watching and playing esports
    2. Video quality trumps sound quality
  4. Game preferences
    1. Shooter games gun down the competition
    2. League of Legends is popular in China and South Korea, but Street Fighter is preferred in Japan

The key takeaways from the Esports market sizing: China, Japan and South Korea report are:

  1. Esports viewership online has high penetration, with two-thirds (or 68%) of the respondents from the North Asian countries of China, South Korea and Japan having been exposed to esports online and half being regular viewers
  2. Esports viewership is largely driven by 18-34 year-olds, with the 25-34 year-olds being more likely to be regular viewers
  3. Males are more avid esports spectators, with 73% of male respondents having viewed esports online compared to 63% of females
  4. North Asians collectively spend billions of hours of streaming games each week
  5. Regular esports viewers are likely to spend 2 hours watching per session
  6. YY, Douyu and YouTube are the most popular video streaming sites for gaming in China, while YouTube, niconico, TwitCasting and afreeca are more popular in Japan and South Korea
  7. Mobile devices are the preferred platform to watch and participate in esports
  8. First person shooter (FPS), real-time strategy (RTS) and multi-online battle arena (MOBA) genres are the most popular
  9. The most important factors in streaming are speed and video quality, rather than sound

Click here to download the full Esports market sizing: China, Japan and South Korea report.

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