Josh Walker 

Hi, everybody. Good afternoon. Welcome back to the sport stage at CES. This is our last panel of the day, we've had really good conversations all day about eSports and gaming and the business that those companies are in. And now this is really an interesting panel. Because if I asked you who the best quarterback was, you'd have decades of data to figure out which quarterback was the best. And you can debate that. If I asked you who the best hitter in baseball was, you could go back decades and look at those stats. And we're all familiar with batting average and different statistics. But how do you figure out which gamers are the best in which format they compete in? Well, that's what this panel is going to discuss. And it's a really interesting way to think about how traditional sports and eSports intersect. So Mike Lee's going to come out with the panel. And Mike is the guy who's responsible at the United talent agency for using these statistics define the up and comer gamers and the talent that's going to define the next generation of Esports Please welcome to the stage our panel. And enjoy.

 
Mike Lee 

Thanks, guys for joining us for the last panel of the day. Appreciate guys taking the time and you're interested in eSports and learning more about data. Today, I think we've put together a really great panel of a lot of different people who touch eSports and a little bit different way from streaming platforms to audience data and data magic platform from the publisher and to a video player and platform that works across multiple different, you know, different clients within the gaming and eSports space. So I'm gonna let them introduce themselves and talk about what do you guys do and who your customers and clients and and yeah,

 
Olivia Friedlander 

yeah, so I'm Olivia, I run operations at Maestro and our mission is to help build strong relationships between broadcasters and their audience. We do this through interactivity because we find that viewers who engage our More likely to spend more time and money with the broadcaster. And our clients include most of the major publishers, Activision Blizzard, epic, Microsoft, we also have a couple of teams and streamers as well.

 
Jake Phillips 

I'm Jake Phillips, Chief Revenue Officer for stream hatchin. I'm in charge of all global sales for the company, which stream has been kind of focuses in is data analytics around the gaming and eSports space. So twitch mixer YouTube gaming, there are a lot of different platforms out there and not a lot of places to obtain the data. So we through our sass platform and reporting, provide those analytics and our major customer basis typically, as she said, Olivia publishers, we work really closely with Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and a few others, as well as agency UTA. We work closely with some eSports teams as well.

 
Johannes Waldstein 

Great. Johannes, founder CEO FanAI were an audience data platform focused first on gaming And eSports Now, also in pro sports and entertainment, and the problem we're trying to solve is, from a brand's perspective, if they sponsor or if they work with a team or a league, a publisher an influencer? Who is that underlying audience, is that audience really spending with that brand or not? So are they getting assisted ROI through that relationship? We acquired waypoint media last year, which is a streaming analytics platform. So in a similar space to to stream hatchett. And we work with leading brands, we will work with some of the pro teams, publishers, sports teams, as well.

 
Doug Watson 

And I'm Doug Watson. I am the head of Esports insights at Riot Games. We are the publisher behind League of Legends, and we run 13 different leagues globally, as well as three large international events and in my role, my job is to translate the voice of our fans into these types of insights which our teams can use to create the appropriate fan experiences that continue to excite and delight those fans. grow our audience and make it so that they want to keep coming back to their sport for multi generations that come 10 10 years, and years and years resolutions.

 
Mike Lee 

So, with data really being with eSports really being electronic first, you know, obviously everyone's looking at data and trying to solve problems with it. So this is a question for all of you guys. What What problems are you guys solving? We can start with Olivia.

 
Olivia Friedlander 

Sure. For us, it comes down to increasing these three core metrics that matter the most of our clients, which are watch time spend and retention. So we provide the tools that allow our clients to increase those by engaging with their audience.

 
Jake Phillips 

We really solve, I think, really two major pillars. The first is the accuracy in which this viewership information comes in. There are a lot of places to get data, not a lot of them that are reporting as accurately as they need to. And then additionally, it's pretty Easy to get your own information on the streaming space. But what's really difficult is getting competitive information. So being able, if you're right, for instance, well, I guess you guys are exclusive, but a game or league or series that's being broadcast, not just on Twitch but on YouTube Gaming or mixer, having one place to aggregate all of that information into something digestible that you guys can take your executive team is really one of those problems we solve as well.

 
Johannes Waldstein 

And, and for us, it's when a brand wants to know beyond how many views Do you do I have, how many likes do I have? How many impressions do I have? They want to know? Is this moving the needle? Are these people buying my product or my service? Are they going into my store? are they buying online or buying mobile? So it's trying to get to something where the chief marketing officer can say, I am getting a certain return from this audience and a certain return from that audience and being able to have a common denominator that has spanned as kind of an underlying under denominator.

 
Doug Watson 

And for my team, our focus is on creating the greatest fan experiences that we can to elevate our sport. And that means everything from how do we create the best events? And where should those be around the world into the formats of our leagues, the platforms that we broadcast on the digital experiences that we create for our players? And also how do we help the partners and the different brands influences that are looking to enter into the sports space, have the appropriate impact and the right connection with the fans that helps elevate that whole ecosystem and grow it? So for us, the problems that we're solving are really how the different underlying things and grow the sport itself and make it last for generations.

 
Mike Lee 

Awesome. And I know this has been a huge debate within the esports space. And there's been many panels and meetings and phone calls that we've been on, whether with our clients or even with each other about what is that one metric in eSports? Because there's so many different data points that you can be looking at. But what's the one metric that in your opinion, we should be looking at that we should care about? We start with you

 
Doug Watson 

start with me Well, the way that we think about it at right is that there's three main audiences for the metrics that we're looking at. There's the fans themselves that want to know what part of the experience or part of how big that ecosystem is. There are the brands and the partners that are entering the space that want to understand what they're getting into and who they're reaching, as well as what they're actually making out for their KPIs and how they're performing. And then finally, there are things that inform our teams internally that help us make sure that those product decisions we make are good. The one that I'm happy to see the industry kind of take a hold of is ama average minute audience. It's a great way for us to be able to standardize a viewership metric that allows us to have an apples to apples comparison across a number of properties, including a lot of traditional sports and media. And seeing that come to life has been really important in my mind is it helps make our industry start to get standards that make it stable for the future.

 
Johannes Waldstein 

So I think standardization is good. I like how you said it's a little bit more subtle than just one thing I think unfortunate There isn't just one, one rule one one ring to rule them all and in the Lord of the Rings. So I think ama average minute audience is a good start. But if if you're a brand you're interested in, in spend you're interested in how many unique viewers there are, you're interested in how loyal our viewers you're interested in. If you have a lot of different properties, what's your unique reach across multiple channels and multiple things that you're sponsoring? So I think ama is a good is a good place to start. And I know you've championed that over the last year. I think that's really good. But I think specific brands and and specific client types have numbers that are not that that are also important to their business.

 
Jake Phillips 

I think ama optimistically is something stream as well. Really, really excited for my one thing and for those of you who aren't as familiar with gaming and eSports are the information that platforms like Twitch and YouTube vide is there's a discrepancy across how all of these platforms classify of you. But the one thing that's really consistent is the amount of time that they're watching for. So hours Watch has been a really big predicating number for us and stream hatchett, which is why we like ama so much, because that is really incorporating that metric at the at the root of it.

 
Olivia Friedlander 

I'm not going to say ama, but but to echo others, there are a lot of different metrics that matter and different clients want different things, right. It's not just one to rule them all, to your point. retention is something that we don't hear a lot of, but I think really matters in the industry because the audience that's coming back, that's your core audience. That's who you're going to make the most money from. That's who that's who they're going to stick with you through no matter what you do. So I think retention is really important metric.

 
Mike Lee 

Like I know when I speak to my buyers, my speak to like even my friends who watch Twitch who aren't in the industry, they're just looking at average, concurrently. When you open YouTube Live or Facebook or Twitch, that's that one big number of them ones focus on it and how it rates every word total or total views.

 
Johannes Waldstein 

time you click on it, it has one more number, right? But it's always the biggest number there.

 
Jake Phillips 

And then goes back to the platform issue of how does twitch to find that versus how does YouTube to find that and very difficult to

 
Mike Lee 

differentiate it? So I think, you know, part of our job in the industry is to help people who are buyers and people were spending the money of helping grow in the industry to understand what metrics should they really be looking at. So I mean, as we started getting into, like, the more specific questions just for the audience in general, since all of us touch kind of different parts of the esports and gaming world, what is your eSports audience like? Who is the esports audience and how have they really changed and I mean, right, it's been around just celebrated their decade now. So like, how have you seen your audience actually changed in the last 10 years?

 
Doug Watson 

It changed on daily basis for us. We've seen again 10 years of League of Legends At this point at a professional level, and we've had our core audience that has been there from day one, and those people, it's amazing to see that they go through different changes in life that change what their entertainment needs are like you have people that go from watching in high school, through having graduated college are starting their career serving families, and their needs and entertainment and what they're looking for from us changes. At the same time, we have new kids coming out that are looking to become the next Faker. And that look at these sports as their primary entertainment source because their digital first and so for us, we're continually looking at all these types of trends and differences in audiences as well as the global changes that happened in the cultural impacts that means to help formulate what is the best thing for our sport next, and I think it's just continually going to change, especially as again, our starting audience continues to grow and age. You start getting into like these third and fourth generations of gamers and eSports viewers. It's going to be a really intense Trusting ecosystem is going to have a lot of different needs that we're going to need to serve.

 
Johannes Waldstein 

I guess, Mike, having looked at the audience now for about three and a half years, we analyze 60 million profiles and people who play games who are sports enthusiasts, two things really struck me first is how different the different audiences are not just between different games where somebody's playing League of Legends, and somebody's playing Street Fighter five are very, very different demographic ethnically different. Where they live is different. What they earn is different console versus PC. Very strong Asian and Chinese player ship for League of Legends. Much more American people playing Madden and other American games on console. So big differences between games, but then even within a game, watching something like the Overwatch League, there wasn't that game three and a half years ago now there's whatever 50 million people playing Overwatch. demographic then changing from early adopter who wants to play the game first to then the parents playing or the children of the parents playing or the Friends of the hardcore gamer playing. So the first thing was the diversity. Everybody plays games, whether mobile games or PC games or console games, all of us play, or almost all of us play some sort of game. EA Sports enthusiasts are watching other people playing various types of games. So the diversity is is really really big. And then second is with with ninja and with fortnite, making it ubiquitous. gaming and eSports is now much much wider. So there are a lot more people who are watching ninja on Twitch before he went to mixer than than just about any any other channel there and that demographic was much wider than just the hardcore gamer. So the two things that we noticed was it's way more diverse than we thought. We thought. They all look like geeks playing these games. And this is it. And that turns out, there's a group of them, but it's much, much more diverse than that. And then second, that it's becoming democratized, that a lot more people are interacting with gaming and with eSports. So those, those are the two things we've seen over the last three years.

 
Mike Lee 

I think that's a great point, though, actually, like I know, growing up, it was just a dream to think about cross platform games, right? The fact that an Xbox player could play with the PlayStation player that could play with the PC player, you know, fortnite really kind of, you know, made that revolutionary, you know, strategy, which is part of one of the reasons why it became so big but now you're seeing, you know, call of DDB having cross platform play, you know, League of Legends announced that it's going to consoles. So yeah, I mean, like, the fact that so many different gamers are now being exposed to the same game and not just fragmented base of what parts of their playing ours is. I didn't think I'd be able to see that in my life.

 
Johannes Waldstein 

Now in mobile devices, so now being able to play fortnite from a phone. So not only do not have to buy an expensive PC, you don't even have to buy a console, you can literally download a free app on your phone and you can play, you can play one of these games.

 
Jake Phillips 

I mean, the adoption of the casual gamer has been flooring to me. I mean, growing up when Halo three was released, and I was in high school having the best time ever I would have killed for a platform to be able to watch this type of content. So one thing that we've really seen a lot of and I think ninja in an Epic Games with fortnight has broadened so much. And so many people back to gaming. So I mean, me growing up avid gamer, my brother who's in the military, didn't grow up playing nearly as many video games but he was the one really introducing me He's like, oh man, Nick mercs on Twitch, like you got to watch all of this content. So taking somebody in many people who typically wouldn't really identify as the gamer type. I think being able to see the explosion of these platforms, the access to technology, and as you mentioned, with mobile really, really taking The super casual gamer and then giving them a place to kind of watch and consume this content and learn strategy to

 
Olivia Friedlander 

bet that I'm playing Uncharted and now going on. Watch how to avoid the exploding mummies speaks volumes, right?

 
Mike Lee 

So, Olivia, you get to work with so many different types of clients, right, from game publishers to events to even music festivals. And you're really helping them frame and shape their live streaming strategy, not just a gaming live streaming strategy. What is something that you find across all the clients that's a unifying or what metrics? Are they looking at that kind of you're able to share some insights with the audience about what is the one metric that that you're seeing across all the different lines?

 
Olivia Friedlander 

Sure. So we're all of our clients. Honestly, no matter what the vertical, there's still looking at that top line viewership. How many viewers did I get? The reason why they're still looking at that number is because we've had a hard time transitioning from the linear TV version of success metrics, right to the internet version. In TV, more viewership equals more ad revenue equals more dollars from the network. But in the internet, we now have a direct to consumer paradigm. So it's there, they're having a hard time shifting that but the word engagement, it's very buzzword II, that's what they're looking for. Because engagement means that their viewers are actively participating. And which means that they're making good content and then better informs their strategy.

 
Mike Lee 

So Doug, Ryan, LCS is, you know, one of the few leagues out there that's not exclusive to one platform. You guys can find it on Twitch on YouTube, on Asian platforms. Was that a decision that was led by data?

 
Doug Watson 

Yeah, so the decision to be everywhere or as many platforms as we could reach started, back when we first broadcasting League of Legends. As an esport, and that was aligned with the right philosophy, well, we wanted to make sure the sports and what the game was accessible to fans all around the world. We wanted to make it so that their experience engaging with the sport was seamless, and that it was exciting and fun for them. And that's led to us partner with a number of different platforms to make sure that the sport is available on mobile devices in multiple languages across countries across CD ends. It it led to us to make a number of decisions that we've learned a lot of things from, including how can we work with platforms better to make the right brand experiences, how those experiences evolving? And what will that mean for the future. And that's going to vary for us from region to region, like in some regions, that means being on linear TV. In some regions, it means being more mobile focused. And for in some cases, it's leading to us to develop our own types of viewing experiences that give different perspectives that our fans are able to use for educational purposes or to to connect better to a product they love.

 
Mike Lee 

Jake, I know in the press lately, it's all been about the streaming wars, you know, different platforms like mixer and Facebook are acquiring Twitch streamers and taking them off the platform. You're one of the few tools out there that's able to see kind of data across all the different streaming platforms. Are you seeing any variations between a mixer YouTube and Facebook? Are they all the same and as a gamer watching on one platform the same as the other or

 
Jake Phillips 

I think for right now, and it's been interesting to watch because as those streamers have pulled exclusivity, I think ninja and trout are one of the two of the largest use cases with that they both pulled exclusivity with mixer and if left switch. The one thing we haven't seen too much of his platform increase. So overall hours you'd expect with ninja shroud to the top guys on Twitch for a very, very long time. Going over and now with an exclusive at Microsoft. We thought we'd be seeing a little bit more. I really love how Microsoft As integrated as they are with Xbox and PC, every Windows is going to come with a really easy mixer integration. So I think one thing that we see with that platform is a really high user base. But for now, I think what we're seeing is Twitch is still number one, YouTube Gaming very close to number two, one that we've seen a ton of growth in this year's Facebook gaming, the mobile side has really kind of jumped in definitely surprised me. So I think as it stands, the status quo has kind of been kept. But as these new systems launch, I know Microsoft is developing a cloud based gaming systems for Nintendo and PlayStation as well. I'd only imagine they want to integrate there. But yeah, it'll be really interesting to see. I think, ultimately, I think the streamers are really winning, really, really winning out in as far as the contracts that they're getting. But I think it remains to be seen if that's a strategy that will keep moving forward through the years.

 
Mike Lee 

You want us as data management You work with so many different eSports teams you work with a lot of different brands and you really help them find the ROI and help them sell to sponsorships. What has been the most valuable data points or data sets that have been able to help kind of drive lift when it comes to pitching to clients and pitching to brands and buyers? I guess

 
Johannes Waldstein 

two examples one from the kind of the rights holder side one from the brand side so working with dream hack, they were looking at what beer partner should they have for dream hack Austin. We also work with with Bud Light, we did not recommend Bud Light they went with them anyway. The feedback was not great. The audience didn't like it so much wasn't that great for either brand. We then worked with dream hack to get New Belgium which has Fat Tire which is another brand which we thought would be a much better fit. next event they had that that went much better. Both for the partner, and the audience drank a lot more of it and liked it a lot more. And so sometimes you have to take the money because as an event producer or as a rights holder you want the sponsor. But data can help you understand which is a better fit. We were able to see which was the better fit before. But it was nice to have a compare of both. On kind of the brand side, a big PC maker had had an assumption about who the audience who was playing with their different hardware, high end hardware and low end hardware. And the assumption was all the hardcore gamers that spend a lot of hours playing games only buy the expensive stuff. And the casual gamers are buying the entry point PC things. That turns out not to be true. You buy the best PC that you can afford, whether you're a hardcore gamer or not. So if I don't have the budget, I still want to play a lot of hours and games, but I can only afford an entry level PC, it doesn't discount me or my passion for the game. And so the way they were segmenting the audience and their mind was they were building these very expensive machines to be an amazing performing eSports athlete. And so they thought that's, that's who the target market is. But it turns out that that's actually not the way the consumer looks at it, the way the consumer looks at it is, I'm either passionate or not passionate about it. And then it's something totally different about what's my budget for the thing that I'm going to buy. But that insights very important because the way you then market the lower end PC is not just a casual people, but you also have to market some of the lower end products to people who are very passionate about playing. So that's kind of an example where, in the boardroom or in when you're doing the marketing strategy, it's it's one of your assumptions about how you're going to go to market with the product. And until you test it, you have really no way of knowing that. So those are kind of two One of the rights holder side where some things work and some don't. And then another on the PC manufacturers side where one of their core assumptions just turns out not to be the case.

 
Mike Lee 

Now, so Olivia, one of my favorite things about Maestro is the fact that you guys really pitch about brands and publishers owning their own data. What are what does that really mean? What are the advantages of owning your data? And how has that really helped your customers? drive more insights or marketing opportunities?

 
Olivia Friedlander 

Sure. So money is a big, the biggest reason. So publishers make their money by making games and selling items related to games. So when it comes to eSports, and streaming, you have fans who are viewing the stream who play the game, and who own it and then you have fans reviewing who don't play the game and don't own it. So how are you going to get the person to spend more money in game who owns the game and how are you to get the fan to buy the game who doesn't buy it? You need to know who they are. It's as simple as that. High Level numbers are great, but unless you know who they are, there's not much that you can do. So what we do is we integrate our customers authentication systems. And now you can start correlating in game behavior with your behavior and start marketing correctly. So one of our clients, as an example, did analysis on viewers who engaged with one of their gamification features during the stream. And they saw a very clear lift in spend with that cohort of viewers. And and we've seen this with another another client, they did this prediction game, and they saw that people who participated in the prediction game were correlated with playing more spending more time inside of the game.

 
Doug Watson 

I just want to double down on this. This is I think one of those things that it's so valuable to us as a publisher and to anyone in the industry where you're able to understand who your audience is and what they're doing what their needs are. how those things evolve over time, because that that one viewer that comes in for that first day, their techniques are going to change. And if you look at it again, a 10 year life cycle with them on a sport side, that's going to change over that that process. And so like being able to understand who they are, what the what what you can do with them, and be able to have access to them for retargeting for having revival campaigns for giving them offers that matter to them and without spamming them, like that is all super, super valuable. And so like, the more that that you can own the publisher side of it, it's just invaluable.

 
Mike Lee 

I think that's a that's a great point. You know, as Doug especially after, you know, 10 years of having, you know, just League of Legends kind of in as your one in main game. You know, you guys recently announced a new auto battle game, you guys announced a new card digital card game, you guys announced a new first person shooter, how much of you guys deciding what new genres to break into after almost a decade of just having a mobile with legal Legends? How much the data and really help you guys in that decision. A great question.

 
Doug Watson 

This isn't my area of expertise, necessarily. But I will say data informs all those decisions for us. When we look at where we're going to invest our time and energy in the r&d side, we leverage the data to help understand what type of genres have meaningfulness within our current audience, where Are there additional opportunities in the markets for us to provide the right types of games? What does the actual profile and the needs of those profiles look like for each of the games that we're thinking about making. And then finally, when we start actually developing them and creating those games and going through those gameplay loops, we leverage a lot of our r&d efforts within the research, to to bring players in to run our labs to be able to evaluate what works well, and to make sure that those core experiences are meaningful to our players at end of the day, and make them want to keep coming back. Because at the end, if we're if we're going to spend the time we want to make sure that our players love it and that they're going to be excited and that it's a game that they're going to want to stick to for the long run.

 
Jake Phillips 

One awesome thing about the viewership information that these platforms provide is you can also understand what those affinities are. So you're honest and I were talking back understanding the registered viewer movement. So if you guys have somebody league legends, tremendously popular game, but you're finding out that 60% of your audience is tuning into a first person shooter afterwards, pretty indicative of where you need to be moving to. And then not only that, the nice part about it and where it kind of differentiates itself from TV is you can know how long those people are actually engaged for its past the the TV model of the average American house has a couple TVs, this is how many people are tuning in. Not only do you have kind of their movement information, of course in aggregate, but also the engagement levels that chat and everything else provide and you can also break that down based on the game genre, publisher etc.

 
Mike Lee 

kind of want to ask a question to all of you or anyone that wants to share a story but has there ever been a time at either of your companies or even at a previous position or role was data that led to a right decision that that you actually that despite what your marketing or executive team was pushing for,

 

Doug Watson 

I can start it because like, go for it. So one of the fun ones for me is we we at right we run three major international events, our world finals, or midseason Invitational and another event, which is our All Star event. And our All Star event was one where a couple of years ago, we decided to take a look at the identity of it and determine what should it actually be. And for our executive teams around the world, a lot of them believe that it should be a heavily competition first based event, similar to our other finals. And well, the high level macro data showed that our fans normally do come for that high level of competition in that peak level of play. Some of the lower level trends showed that that's not all that they want, that they did want things that felt that connected into the community that brought fun into it. And as we delve more into that That data we were able to kind of show that are also event probably shouldn't be a highly competitive event should be more fun. And it took a bit more research a bit more work on the data side. But we we came up with essentially a plan and we change that event Overall, we brought streamers into it, we brought new fun modes into it, we made it so that there were ways to interact as a fan at home. And it it actually made us it was the best performing viewership that we've had for also running for years. And it kind of changed how our team thought about that. And also thought about the data that they were using to make sure that these decisions were made correctly. So

 
Johannes Waldstein 

awesome. In one one that I love is working with a retailer that that ended up working with one of our clients. And they had done some panels looking at what people were buying and what they were doing. And what came back was a lot of people saying that they buy organic and very healthy and all of these things, when we look more at the data that turned out not to be the case. So people were not saying I'm buying chips and white bread and things like that for my children, I'm a really good parent, I'm definitely buying organic. So there are a bunch of interesting examples where either the what the people say they might themselves believe, but the underlying data isn't that way. Or like the PC manufacturer, that you have an assumption about the the people buying your product because of the way you've made your product that doesn't really match with their use case. So a lot of what we're doing is helping take assumptions and then test them with real world spend and with real world events, and sometimes they line up. And that's great. Sometimes you're really embarrassed and they they don't line up but then that's also good, because then you can adjust a little bit. So I think a lot of what happens with our customers is some of their assumptions can turn out to be right. Some of them turn out to be completely wrong, but there's at least a really good way looking across millions of transactions. To be able to help prove or disprove that,

 
Jake Phillips 

yeah, we've had quite a few one one in which we were working with LED sports one, our first partners we worked with, they did an activation with ninja at their Esports Arena in Las Vegas. That was ninjas peak viewership of that entire year. So one thing that we really saw was through kind of our ad and logo recognition process, that they actually had the ability through a seven hour stream to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in actual revenue because of the engagement that was able to be captured. And then not only that, but just the absolute sheer peak number and volume of people coming in. And then another one, we've even worked with the publisher, and there was a tear of service that was the pay for $30 a month to get an extra access extra content. And our assumption was of course, these guys are definitely watching the most out of all of the other audiences and it was actually about a tear down. Although they weren't paying the premium for it. They were consuming way more and even more active on the chat side as well.

 
Mike Lee 

Something that's been, you know, very different for me, especially working with talent in the esports. space has always been this kind of has always been looking at China and how these Chinese numbers is hard to kind of tell, you know, are these Chinese numbers real? How do I decipher this hard for me to read the website, but there's so much viewership has so much potential with that audience there. So Doug, and Jake, you guys probably work with Chinese data, the closest how has been working with the different Chinese platforms. And have you learned anything? What's been your biggest hurdles? Yeah,

 
Jake Phillips  

yeah. You want to go first? Sure. It's, it's been interesting, as you heard before, we are trying to unify and standardize the metrics that we're seeing here in just the North American platforms. And that's been a hurdle in itself. What we're seeing a lot with Asian platforms, so zonkey door you tremendous amounts of viewership, but they're not classifying it as viewership. So it will typically be classified as a heat or a popularity score. And what that's going to integrate with is how many people are tuning in how many people are chatting about it. What is the rank of this channel on the platform as a whole? And that's really what kind of dictates where that number comes from. So from stream hatch inside the visibility and consistency, it's, it's, it's a bit of hogwash right now, we're hoping to get a little bit more standardization. But we do have to make the best of what we have. Because as you mentioned, you can't ignore the viewership. And one that who owns that we're really seeing take off is an email. And that's really in kind of the latam section instead of a pack, but lot of viewership especially on the mobile side, but it's just been a little foggy for at least for our side.

 
Doug Watson 

From the publisher perspective. We do a lot in China, of course. And so we have relationships with a number different platforms and we use a number of different touch points to help evaluate the performance especially as against a standards are not necessarily set. Even in the West, let's be honest, like we're working at getting to a point where Western civilization exists. And we do want to make sure that that becomes global. But for us, we end up taking a look at a lot of the information and helping to make sure that we can interpret it correctly that we can validate those results so that when we talk with our partners about what performance in the region looks like we can be, we can be trusting of what we're actually going to share with them to make sure that they get the right the right data in the right insights. And then beyond that, we do a lot of work to essentially understand the needs of the fans there and to do a lot of research with them. We have an incredible pipeline of data coming out from within the game ecosystem as well as our labs and other things that we execute in the region. Think we have some great insights that allow us to kind of cross referencing

 
Johannes Waldstein 

and bots bots are a problem with us viewership as well. So having software go and hit it in in Asia, they have phone farms, where they have the Thousands and thousands of phones that are plugged in their real phones, they have a real social account on it. It's watching software program is doing things with it. That coupled with bots means that you have non non viewers viewing. So I think that's a challenge we do a lot with Twitter, Twitter got rid of a bunch of fake accounts, we still see some their twitch has them as well. And Twitch is trying to make sure that the audience is a real audience that there's a person behind that. It's not just auto playing in a bunch of different browsers, which are we're playing on a software client or on a game client. So I think even in our own market, but even more in other markets there there are other things that influence those numbers.

 

Mike Lee 

What I mean bots, you know, uniformity of measurements, different data points. It seems like the esports world has so many, so much data that there's so many different problems. Right, what's been the biggest hurdle for you guys? Whether that's internally champion your data points, whether that's communicating what you guys are trying to do? What's been your biggest hurdles?

 
Olivia Friedlander 

The biggest hurdle has, despite the fact that we're five years ahead of our time, it's been education, right? It's going beyond just the surface level of viewership, right? We've been talking about that. Going deeper, the internet has so much to offer, the number one thing being data we know so much about the people that are viewing. All of our companies are all doing something related to data that is useful, and it's educating our clients. Why should this matter to you? What are your what are the metrics that matter? And why should this matter to you? So it's a bit of big educational process for us?

 
Jake Phillips 

Yeah, I think the same, especially from the brand and advertising perspective. Most budgets are either digital or TV and we fit somewhere in the middle. So that's one thing that we've really strived to do is right back to Olivia's point is just the education and making sure people understand why you need us isn't the best metric for these platforms. And maybe you should focus on hours watched or focusing over here and really predicating it on the engagement, but very similarly. And then additionally, I think it's been a little bit slower to have the brands adopt just because they're spending, I think we're seeing them spin. But if you look at a eSports budget compared to the NFL budget, much, much different numbers. So I think a lot of companies also have a hard time justifying purchasing data that they can really trust and rely on and it's kind of really a chicken in the egg situation. But I mean, the ones that have been on, they've really taken the time to understand and commit to the data they've seen the most success.

 
Johannes Waldstein 

I think, for us, that's changed over time. So three and a half years ago, that was before Overwatch league that was before Ninja, that was Before a lot of a lot of this has happened. So three years ago, it was, what is eSports? I've never heard of that. Is that a gaming? Is that? Is that some sort of what is that? So I think we're much, much further ahead than not know, people know what gaming and eSports is with ninja with fortnite. Most marketing directors have children playing it or millennial colleagues that are playing, playing games and watching your sport. So I think we've gone past that first. What is it? I think it's still over overhyped at the moment it hasn't grown into and proved out the value to a lot of these brands. So they've experimented or they've done one season of Overwatch league or they've done a few seasons of of Riot League of Legends. So the brands are still trying to figure out what is how is that different from influencer marketing? How is that different from streaming? How is that different from Instagram? is a gaming audience different from from this other audience so I I think part of it is just time is that it's taken the professional leagues 100 years to get to where they are. And, and eSports does itself and and the brands a disservice, it says, There's never been sliced bread like this since sliced bread, you have to be part of this. And they sort of say I want to believe that prove to me that it's the best sliced bread that I've ever had. And so the expectations are kind of out of proportion. And then then the brand says, Well, I want to sell 100 times more than I've ever sold after one season of Overwatch league and that's that's also totally unrealistic. So what's sold is a little bit unrealistic, what's expected is a little bit unrealistic, and there's a bit of disappointment on both sides has to kind of step back and say, okay, what's going on without I think we're going through that we're going through some of that now, but then you also have greater innovation. So this gentleman carries a beautiful Louie Vuitton bag. Why you would ask? Well, it's a it's a beautiful It's a beautiful bag, which is true, but the real reason is that they did one of the best integrations with a game ever which is having clothing and items inside the game that are Louie Vito branded that you can close your warrior or your character your hero into avatar. So even if I can never afford the bag that that Doug has, I can at least in the game afford an amazing Louis Vuitton outfit. So there was just some great innovation going on. Yeah,

 
Mike Lee 

I guess this question is to Doug and all of you we have about two and a half minutes left but since we're on the sports stage, you know, sports is so easy to measure the you know, the Super Bowl against the all star games versus you know, you know, baseball, soccer etc. Because you have someone like Nielsen that's uniforming you know, all the the TV ratings grps trps, etc. is, as we've seen o-w this year go on ESPN for the first time and a lot of people are having the conversations Does eSports work on TV? Is that something that we in eSports? Want to see? Will eSports ever work on TV? And do we need that uniform Nielsen type of measurement tool that can basically be able to allow advertisers to more easily understand how valuable viewer nice horses?

 
Doug Watson 

Yeah, I always a robot. So I think one the standards are important in order to make sure that you can compare the different investment opportunities that you have within a given brand. Because there are so many today and the audiences is so diverse and its global at this point. So you need to be able to evaluate how can you reach a a player in China that might be interested with your brand, as well as one in Brazil and one in North America, which formats are best, which is the best approach to to making that authentic connection with them. And so it is difficult and you do need some of those standards so that you can make sure that when you're talking about internally, you can have a apples apples comparison that people can make sense of easily and not take, you know, a 30 slide deck to to comprehend. But beyond that, I think it's it is a question of what is the right format to reach the audience. And that's going to continually evolve. As we talked about before, some of our audience is changing to the point today, where they're going through different stages of their lives when they first started engaging with these sports. And that's great. And that just means that how we reach them, and what they need for content is going to evolve as well. And so in some markets, that will mean linear TV in some markets will mean on the computer and some of it will be mobile first. And we just need to continually be able to adapt to that and make sure we can reach our audience wherever they need to be.

 
Mike Lee 

Well, thanks, everyone. Thank you for your time. We're about running out of time now. So thank you for bearing with us for the last eSports panel of the day, and everyone have a great CES. I think, you know, some of these guys will probably be sticking around. So if you have any questions, you know, you can come find us in the hallway. But thank you, everyone. Thank you.

CTATECH-PROD3