Sep 19, 2019 - Economy

Esports network to launch New York, Los Angeles studios

A man playing video games

Photo: Getty Images/Gorodenkoff

Video Game Entertainment & News Network (Venn), a startup seeking to make 55 hours of esports content a week, plans to launch studios in New York and Los Angeles in mid-2020, the Los Angeles Times writes.

The big picture: The New York-based business has raised $17 million and is looking to become a gaming network, with distribution deals including Twitch, YouTube and Hulu TV. The esports category has expanded in popularity, particularly with young people, with platforms like Twitch allowing gamers to grow more connected by streaming their activities.

By the numbers ... According to research firm EMarketer:

  • The U.S. esports audience currently sits around 30.3 million people.
  • Viewing is expected to increase to 46.2 million by 2023.
  • Esports advertising revenue is set to increase from $178 million in 2019 to $213.8 million in 2020.

Between the lines: The Times writes: "...some of the new platforms hosting esports content don’t have sophisticated advertising tools for marketers," per Eric Haggstrom, a forecasting analyst with EMarketer.

  • Venn plans to change that by producing high-quality content including "talk shows, reality shows, documentaries and esports events," the Times writes.

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