Esports: Reigniting the Gaming Industry

Exploring demographics, audience affinities and influencers in a fast-rising industry

No matter how fast the pace of technological change, the value of understanding your audience never diminishes. Knowing who you’ll be selling to and what they want is a recipe for success. Failing to do so is flirting with disaster.

Fortunately, brands now have access to massive volumes of online consumer conversations, along with improved tools for sorting through them and extracting compelling insights. These resources give brands a highly effective way to understand the preferences, demographics and opinions of their target audiences.

In this post, we demonstrate the power of audience analysis by applying it to the burgeoning consumer discussion about esports in Asia-Pacific. This will show you how your brand can use online conversations to better understand your target market. For enterprising media and entertainment brands interested in knowing more about the Asia-Pacific esport industry, there’s no better way to start than by doing an audience analysis.

Teaming up

You might not have heard of esports before, but it’s a phenomenon that’s sweeping the world of media and entertainment, commanding some big money and serious attention from brands. And the Asia-Pacific region, where online gaming is already a major obsession among youth, is no exception to the craze. The below sentiment chart shows how the discussion about esports is not only growing in volume, but also becoming more positive.

Clearly consumers in the region can’t stop talking about it, but what’s esports all about? It’s a professional industry where ‘cyber athletes’ team up and compete against one another in video game tournaments. Games can vary in their format, including real-time strategy, first person shooter, and multiplayer online battle arena.

Video games themselves are not new; they date back to the 1970s. But the esports industry has made massive leaps forward in the last few years, thanks to increases in computer processing power and internet bandwidth.

Things can only get bigger, but who is driving this growth? What does the typical esports audience look like?

Start with demographics

Demographics are the logical starting point when building a picture of the target audience. As might be expected, the majority of the esports discussion comes from the 17 and under age range. This is closely followed by the 35 and above category. Men dominate the discussion, accounting for 67 percent of the esports audience.

Discovering affinities

Demographics are helpful, but two-dimensional. Exploring their affinities and interests is an effective way to better understand your target audience. We’re asking the question: What do people who talk about esports also talk about?

The resulting affinities chart shows some predictable results (such as ‘video games’ and ‘soccer’) along with some more surprising ones (such as ‘art museum’ and ‘women’s health’). These could provide a good focus point for further exploration, and may help in planning strategic partnerships with other brands that may be of potential interest to your core target audience.

Meeting the influencers

Another way to locate new inroads to the esports audience is by analysing the influencers within the audience. Social media influencers are key elements in amplifying your marketing campaigns, invaluable for engaging a particular audience and expanding the reach of your brand.

Below, we’ve identified the ten most prolific influencers in the esport conversation within APAC. Once these influencers have been identified, brand managers can then reach out to them directly, and/or craft content that resonates with these individuals and which they’ll be likely to share.  

Not all influencers within a space will be exactly the same. Understanding the main topics in their conversation helps you learn which influencers have strong connections to a specific audience, or tend to discuss particular brands or products. Let’s use a specific influencer and example, and use AI-Powered Consumer Insights to discover which subtopics they have the strongest connection to.

Here we can see the subtopics for user @ToysandGamesCo, who is highly engaged with esports and discusses a lot of themes within the topic. These include names of popular games (League of Legends), results of tournaments, and various esport products (e.g. ‘gaming mouse pad’). This influencer would potentially be a prime target for outreach marketing, as they seem to be deeply engaged within the industry.


Want to learn more about emerging trends in the APAC region? Download our guide ‘AI-Powered Consumer Insights for the APAC Region’ now to read more!

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