Majority of Twitch Esports Viewers Use Platform Every Day, Nielsen Report Shows

A Nielsen survey released Thursday suggests esports watchers are a prime target for advertisers, but old strategies won’t work on them.

The 2018 Nielsen Esports Fan Insights report includes behavior data from hundreds of esports gamers collected over the last year. These fans watched and participated in games like “League of Legends,” “Overwatch League,” “Fortnite” and more.

The report is designed to help advertisers better understand how to allocate their dollars on Twitch, and explain why the esports community is such a valuable demographic to target.

Among the more surprising findings: Over 60% of Twitch users view gaming personalities live streaming on Twitch daily, and 70% say they spend more time engaging with esports than traditional ones.

Perhaps most shocking was how little Twitch users consume linear television.

“We were able to look at the people who are actually using Twitch every day and see that 60% of them are not watching TV on a weekly basis,” Nicole Pike, Nielsen’s VP of eSports, told AdExchanger. “That was even more drastic than we expected.”

The Nielsen report reaffirms the fact that gamers are a highly sophisticated group on digital. But this comes at a price for advertisers: research from the IAB Tech Lab found US men between 18 and 34 were the most likely demographic to use ad blockers. This surge was attributed to young men in tech and gaming communities.

Pike hopes Nielsen’s insights will demystify esports gamers and help advertisers see that if they can clear a few hurdles, they’ll find a highly dedicated audience on the other side. While traditional banner ads might not work on these users, influencer marketing campaigns driven by esports influencers might be worthwhile strategy.

“When you have a fan base who is engaged and committed to the content they’re watching, there is also a higher likelihood that a campaign can really pay back large dividends from the fan base,” Pike said.

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