Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Intrade Technology Revived as Fantasy Sports Website

A co-founder of the shuttered prediction market website Intrade has licensed that technology and has opened a fantasy sports website.  The New York Times story discloses how the site,, is now open for public testing. 

Intrade was closed a couple of years back after US regulators accused the site of offering contracts without regulatory approval, forcing the site to withdraw from the US.  Subsequent to that, following an accounting review found irregularities in internal accounts, the site ceased operation and froze customer accounts.  This new site will leverage the trading technology utilized by the prior site.

To attempt to stay within fantasy sports skill game safe harbors, the new site will require players to trade sufficient shares across three or more different contract propositions.  The company will make money by having more money come in via entry fees than what is paid out in prizes, similar to other pay-to-play fantasy sports websites.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Free Market Research Info on eSports Available

I saw this item a couple of months back, but just getting around to commenting on it now.  There is a new sport gaining popularity.  It's not horse racing, auto racing, skateboarding or extreme skiing (although all are nice sports).  What is getting more popular is eSports.  What is eSports?  These are sports where the participants play games on electronic devices, like consoles and computers.  These gamers play games like Call of Duty, StarCraft, etc. competitively.  There are actual leagues for eSports like Major League Gaming and online video sites dedicated to broadcasting eSports content, like Twitch.  I do spend time on both sites, and find both sites entertaining and engaging.

Here's the item.  NEWZOO marketing research has some good info on the eSports market that they're making available for free.  You can find this article at this link.  I won't steal NEWZOO's thunder and repeat the information, but I'll highlight just a couple of data points.

The first is that there are currently over 47 million eSports players and viewers in the US and Western Europe.  For the US alone, it is approximately 28 million.  If you compare that to the current estimate of fantasy sports players in the US of over 33 million, eSports is generally comparable in size.  Fantasy sports is a multi-billion dollar industry, so eSports' popularity is worth noting.

The second is the percentage of female participation.  For fantasy sports participants, approximately 20% are women.  For eSports, over 30% are women.  This is a big difference and a big positive for eSports.  That larger female participation directly impacts the industry size upside.

Keep an eye on the growth of eSports.