At least one in two Italians has come into contact with eSports: the numbers in Italy are among the highest in Europe.
eSports in Italy: reassuring numbers for the sector
The phenomenon of eSports is now widely known to the European public, also thanks to the boost given by the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of spectators has also reached record levels in Italy. In fact, in our country, at least 1 in 2 consumers, aged between 16 and 65, appears to have been exposed to this type of content at least once. Businesses are also increasingly crowding this market. In fact, as in the rest of Europe, also in Italy organizations from various sectors are entering the world of eSports. But we must not make the mistake of believing that the market feeds itself. On the other hand, in the last year there have also been several shortcomings in the sector from an economic point of view. This could be proof that the eSports market in Europe still faces several challenges.
To help us better photograph the situation, we have a report from Deloitte. The study, called “Let’s Play! – The European eSports market”Is published in collaboration with ISFE ESports. The report, conducted between July and August 2021, involved 20,000 consumers in 12 countries and regions in Europe, including Italy. The study investigated the level and behavior of consumption of eSports content. They were also involved in a further survey about 70 representatives belonging to companies in 14 countries.
“This study not only shows the main evidence that is characterizing this sector in Europe and Italy, but also provides a detailed roadmap to successfully navigate the esports ecosystem in this particular moment of transformation” he comments Francesca Tagliapietra, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Leader di Deloitte Italia. “To achieve sustainable economic success in this sector, it is essential for every organization to recognize the key performance factors and address them in the most correct way”.
What emerges from the report
In essence, the study highlights how companies must, for example, learn to organize attractive competitions. The importance also lies in the effectively diversify revenues and develop a fair approach to sponsorships and partnerships. In any case, it remains essential to know the audience to which you are targeting and its expectations and needs. Consumers are in fact very different from each other just as the eSports themselves are different. Furthermore, digital channels are platforms for receiving direct feedback, which must be learned to manage.
Italian spectators are among the most regular in Europe, surpassed only by Spaniards and Poles. The 27% of Italian consumers enjoy eSports content at least once a week. They are mainly young people under 40, belonging to the younger generation Z (17%) o alla generation Y between 26 and 40 years (46%). They also generally have high levels of education (76%) it’s a job (81%).
Regarding their buying behaviors, they prefer online channels to traditional purchasing channels (60%) and they also declare that they are well disposed towards advertising, with a 58% who admits to prefer those products that are promoted through channels that are most familiar to them. Furthermore, 1 out of 5 Italian eSports spectators declares to be loyal to an eSports team by paying for its membership, for example, membership of a club, a membership, access to premium content of a team, etc.
How the pandemic has impacted the esports industry
The spread of COVID-19, and the consequent lockdown periods, have significantly increased the use of entertainment content. In this period, esports have attracted many new viewers: 54% of the current eSports audience in Italy said they watched this type of content for the first time in 2020, after the first lockdown. In particular, it was the female audience that recorded the most significant increase, with an increase of more than 2 and a half times. On the other hand, we find the two times scarce of male consumers. However, the female presence is still limited among the spectators of Italian eSports (41%), although the figure is higher (+3pp) to the European female audience (38%)
“The eSports sector continues to be, in Italy as well as in Europe, a young, dynamic and strongly consumer-oriented sector, which consequently continues to have a positive vision of its future” he adds Francesca Tagliapietra from Deloitte Italy. “If the entire esports ecosystem and its stakeholders continue to focus on the big picture and put their short-term interests aside for long-term development, there is a good chance that esports will thrive and achieve. a sustainable success “.
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