Measuring the Size of Esports

Is professional video gaming the next big thing? It increasingly looks to be the case. But how big is that market?

Some estimates pegged it as a $493 million industry in 2016, others said it was nearly twice as big. As for the audience, some say it's 85% male, others say it's 56% male. No one really knows.

Nielsen says it's ready to figure it out. The audience-measurement company is introducing a new division, Nielsen Esports, to quantify the rapidly growing industry for teams, sponsors, advertisers and publishers.

"Nielsen knows sports, Nielsen knows games, and we obviously know audience," says Nicole Pike, VP of Nielsen Games, who will co-lead the new division. "To us that's the perfect confluence of expertise to enter esports."