eSports Advertisers Should Target Females

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Esports fans are often described as simply “male millennials,” and the description often fits: Globally, men far outnumber women both as esports competitors and fans, reports Nielsen. That doesn’t mean women aren’t in the game, however. Females are engaging with esports, and at increasing rates. According to a recent Nielsen Esports Fan Insights survey, 22% of esports fans around the world are female. And in countries where organized esports have been around the longest, we see more gender parity in esports fandom."

'We see a direct correlation between how mainstream esports has become in a country’s culture, and how likely females are to participate in the esports ecosystem. Newer fans are more likely to be females, who often start with casual viewing and then become more engaged over time,' said Nicole Pike, managing director, Nielsen Esports."

"The entertainment aspect of esports is among the biggest draws for fans regardless of gender. However, for female esports fans, connecting, meeting and socializing with other fans and gamers is a stronger driver of esports engagement than it is for males. Dressing up, or seeing fans in costumes representing their favorite esports characters (commonly known as cosplay), is also more valued by female esports fans."

"In contrast, males are significantly more likely to follow esports as a way to learn tips and tricks from the pros and to become better gamers."

"Reasons why female fans engage with esports:

  • Entertainment aspects: 40%
  • Connect/​meet/​socialize with other gamers: 24%
  • Participate in or see cosplay: 15%
  • Learn tips and tricks from the pros: 35%
  • Become a better gamer: 30%"

"Female fans prefer watching live versus recorded esports, especially because of the opportunity to engage on social media and communicate with other esports fans during the event more so than males."

"When females watch esports, they often take part in other activities at the same time, such as social networking, listening to music and watching other programming. However, female esports fans are less likely than males to play video games while watching esports."

"While watching esports games, females also:

  • Social network: 48%
  • Listen to music: 30%
  • General internet usage: 41%
  • Participate in a chat or online forum related to the event: 30%
  • Watch other programming on cable/​satellite TV: 17%
  • Play the same video game being played in the event: 16%
  • Play a different video game than is being played in the event: 17%"

Online Game Players are involved in many social networks. According to AudienceSCAN, these gamers are active on Facebook (84.9%), YouTube (65.9%), Twitter (42.6%) and Instagram (42.5%). They're 38% more likely than other adults to find advertising on social networks useful and 34% more likely to share good experiences on social media. Additionally, within the last six months, 28.6% of these audience looked up a TV commercial on YouTube and 29.1% used a mobile device to watch a video about a produce they were considering.

"As esports becomes a more mainstream form of entertainment across more global markets, females will no doubt become a more important part of the audience for both rights holders and brands to address. It’s clear that it’s not just their gender that sets them apart from their male counterparts, but also their inherent motivations, preferences, and touch points within the esports ecosystem. Finding ways to uniquely connect with females on this more nuanced level will be increasingly key to industry stakeholders’ success and monetization strategies moving forward."

Online Game Players have a tendency to respond to multiple forms of advertising. For example, last year, they took action after seeing TV commercials (65.3%), receiving direct mail ads (59.7%) and receiving email ads (50%). They're also 40% more likely than other adults to find advertisements on their mobile apps useful and 14% more likely to take action after seeing ads on their smartphones or receiving ads via text.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.