Last time we talked about why esports isn’t big in Australia. So what did the community think of it?
If you didn’t read yesterday’s article, check it out here. It circulated through a number of my networks and I had some requests to pull together all the comments and respond. So here they are.
Firstly, I was overwhelmed by the positive response I received. People were excited about the future and not worried by it. This is a great start to tackling all the challenges I spoke about. Mostly, everyone agreed the ‘challenges’ or ‘obstacles’ are real and that it wasn’t too over the top or blown out of portion, which is a positive!
Secondly, we’re all pretty much in agreement that this is a team effort. None of these challenges can be solved by one particular person, one particular company, or even one whole section of the industry. No! This is a team game we’re playing here so bring on the co-op mode!
I really liked William’s comment on one of our Facebook groups, Will agreed that we’re behind the rest of the world:
Esports in Australia has always been about 3-4 years behind North America. The fact of the matter is that we’re a combined population of about 28 million compared to North America’s 579 million. For our population we punch above our weight and we have some extraordinary talent here – the problem is that consumers eyes translate directly to advertising dollars and we just don’t have the consumer base to justify the big bucks just yet.
What he’s saying here is all too true and something that was pointed out in the article. As far as numbers are concerned, we’re behind, but that’s okay. If we stick together we can accomplish great things. And he points out one of our strongest attributes – Aussies go hard at it and punch above our weight, all the time.
Audience numbers and Market in Australia
Next, before I go into some of the other positives, one of the guys asked the question, “isn’t Australia the 3rd or 4th biggest esport market in the world?”. Well not really. If you take a look at the stats, the esports market is worth nearly US$700 million worldwide. Of that, China (15%) and North America (37%) generate 52% of this revenue, South Korea comes in at 7% while the rest of the world is 41% combined. If we’re talking audiences, then it’s even less for Australia. Check out the report here that dives into the number of viewers. Australia only has four million of the world’s 191 million esports viewers*. So that’s where we’re at with the numbers. As I mentioned before, we’re a small audience base; yes, we’re committed, we’re vibrant, but we are small and that doesn’t add up well for ROI.
Onto the next thing – it’s our turn!!!
As Ross said “this is our time to shine”. It definitely is the time to shine and the way has already been paved by some “trailblazers” in the industry.
I went over some of them, but the AFL getting behind esports is a big win for the mainstream market. Some people have noted they are seeing advertising in their workplaces for IEM which is awesome. Even at PAX Australia last year, promo flags and posters could be seen all around the City of Melbourne.
This type of mainstream marketing will ensure all the big events I spoke about in the article aren’t just ‘known’ to the esports community, but become common knowledge – even if you’re not a fan. For example, pretty much everyone in Australia knows when the AFL grand final is on, but not everyone is a fan. Even if they don’t know the date, they know it’s a thing. Or the Melbourne Cup – everyone knows about it. Esports will eventually get to this stage where everyone knows about it – and that’s good from an advertising perspective.
We certainly have a very passionate community here. All we need to do is work together. As Jon said:
We all [need to] grow alongside small to medium brands – each feeding the growth of the other and relationship building
This is exactly what is happening. Small events are partnering up with small brands for advertising, production, sponsorship, food etc, while the larger events are going big – ie. PAX partnering with EB Expo. These things will continue to happen and strong relationships will develop in the scene. It just takes time, effort, and perseverance.
As Aussies, we typically do well under the pump. We’re good at making something out of nothing, and finding ways to do things against the odds. We’re at the back so it’s all upwards from here. So there you have it. Let’s work together, let’s shine, and soon we’ll be talked about as much as cryptocurrency. At least that’s what Joshua wants! I certainly want us to be talked about as much as the cricket, the footy, or any other sport… or yes, crypto.
I hope this article (and yesterday’s) comes at a good time for everyone in the industry to reflect on where we are, where we’re headed, and where we want to be. It’s an exciting time and if you’re in the industry, it’s fun times ahead!