Sunday, May 19, 2024

    EDITORIAL eSports play to win as consumers crave entertainment

    One of the early winners in the sudden shift in consumer behaviour worldwide has been the rise of eSports. From simple entertainment through to driving gaming and gambling, esports has become a key form of entertainment content for millions of people.

    The lack of live sports is being keenly felt by many people worldwide. They rely on it for entertainment, engagement and more. And this is not going to change any time soon – in fact, as with many things in the Corona era, a suddenly and immutable shift in consumer behaviour has been ushered in.

    And what an opportunity it is. For starters, using sports clips to entertain is going to be a market that carrier billing is all but designed for – as we have said before – and with the lack of live content right now, turning to ‘classics’ like best goals and more is going to fill the gap before live sports return.

    Even when sports are back on, there will still be a huge market for using sliced and diced content to drive engagement and extra revenues around existing subs services.

    From a gambling perspective, it is ripe for giving those that like a flutter a chance to do so while the races et al are off. And once hooked they won’t be going anywhere. As we reported last week, the shift to ecommerce has seen more people start to shop online and many of these won’t stop when the isolation and distancing are over. The same applies with sports content. This is what they are going to be used to in three months time, so time to build it as a business right now.

    The other side of esports that is going to be just as important to the telemedia sector is that of live gaming and ‘Let’s play’ content. Live games – where players play video games against each other – has been a growing sector for some time, with tournaments attracting thousands of live visitors and many millions more online. In the isolation months we are currently subject to the gaming side has grown and will continue to do so. Just look at what Belong Gaming Arena is doing.

    And getting people paying to play, to watch and rewarding them for doing so is going beyond ad funding and starting to become an interesting merging of carrier billing and cryptocurrency tokenisation.

    For example, attention-focused tech company Verasity has launched a new game store that rewards its users for playing games. For every minute of gaming, players will receive digital tokens that are exchangeable to Amazon vouchers and many other rewards. There are already thousands of games available from more than 550 game publishers, ensuring a wide variety of genres.

    The platform is part of the online portal, which also hosts a Watch&Earn program and several B2B tools. Publishers use Verasity’s rewarding-technology to improve aspects such as engagement and monetization.

    “With the Verasity GameStore you can play as a single-player, try a PVP game or even create your own tournaments and challenge your friends worldwide, but from the safety of your home,” explains Chris Gale, Co-Founder of Verasity.

    This sort of idea is going to rapidly gain ground and is an ideal play for telemedia companies to tap into.

    Let’s play – tutorials and talk-throughs of game content – meanwhile is also becoming hugely popular even without the Corona bounce. According to Juniper Research, it is set to help drive the whole eSports segment to reach 858 million unique views by 2022, up from 630 million this year.

    These are big numbers and we are going to see a whole raft of innovations around esports in the coming months as those of us stuck at home for an unprecedented length of time look for new ways to be entertained.

    This is a business about to really take off and we certainly think the opportunities are huge and will shortly be preparing a white paper designed to make the case for deploying far more carrier billing and mobile engagement technology across a range of key verticals – including games, gambling and sports.

    >>> Don’t miss out on the latest news, analysis and key insider views from around the industry via the Telemedia Newsletter. Totally free and published every Thursday – Sign up for your copy TODAY

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