The global fantasy sports market size was valued at USD 24 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 78.5 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 14% during the forecast period (2022 – 2030). Fantasy sports are online game platforms in which participants pick and manage virtual teams comprised of actual professional athletes. Users compete against one other's fantasy teams throughout a sports league or season. Users with the highest point totals receive money depending on the actual performance of professional athletes.
The rapidly evolving online gaming business places a premium on adopting new technologies for better and more effective operations. With the introduction of secure payment methods, a user-friendly interface, blockchain-based apps, and fantasy chatbots, the fantasy sports sector has experienced significant increases in revenue creation, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency. It is anticipated that the inclusion of such technologies will continue to provide attractive prospects for market participants to manage users and core operations better.
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Expansion of Digital Infrastructure in Addition to Falling Data Prices
The fantasy sports market share has seen tremendous growth in the past few years. The most influential factor of rapid market expansion is the proliferation of digital infrastructure in the developing region. The number of internet subscribers in India is estimated to reach 639 million by the end of December 2020, from 560 million in September 2018. This roughly amounts to a total of 14% increment. Additionally, average data consumption per subscriber has dramatically increased due to the availability of inexpensive smartphones and the nationwide trend of quickly declining data pricing. Along similar lines, the number of internet users in China had hit 900 million as of March 2020, which has increased by 75 million from the end of 2018. China and India are leaders in terms of internet users and are growing at a rapid pace. In addition, average data usage per month in India exceeds 11 GB, whereas, in China, it exceeds 7 GB. The average data consumption in India is likely to triple by the end of 2025. This growth in digital infrastructure, along with the availability of high-speed internet at affordable prices, helps drive the development of the fantasy sports market in the region.
Increased Investment from Investors in Fantasy Sports Platforms to Usher Market
Global investors' investments have successfully supported the rapid growth of the sports fantasy business. Global investors maintained their interest in sports fantasy platforms. In 2018, the Chinese investment holding company Tencent sponsored a Series D funding round in which Dream11, an India-based fantasy sports platform, raised approximately 100 million ISD. On similar lines, Halaplay raised USD 5 million in Series A funding led by Kae Capital and Nazara Technologies. Similarly, FanDuel Group has received collective financing of more than USD 400 Million.
Draftkings, a sports fantasy platform launched in 2012, has raised close to USD 900 million and is now valued at more than USD 2 Billion. The continued investment from investors aids the market expansion with better product offerings from different platforms. As a result, such investments propel market growth.
Legal and Regulatory Challenges to Hinder Market Growth
Fantasy sports are often confused with illegal sports betting, though fantasy sports are predominantly skill-based. However, fantasy sports always remain under legal scrutiny by various gambling laws across the countries. The legality of fantasy sports is often based on existing gaming and skill game laws. Though fantasy sports are legal; however, states in the U.S. like Arizona, Hawaii, Alabama, Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington State, have banned one or more fantasy sports platforms such as DraftKings, Yahoo, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft, and others. Such instances hinder the market growth.
Early Adoption of Advanced Technologies to Boost Market Opportunities
The rapidly developing online gaming sector gives the adoption of technologies for better and more efficient operations great importance. The fantasy sports sector has witnessed significant improvements in revenue creation, customer satisfaction, and operational effectiveness with the introduction of secure payment gateways, user-friendly interfaces, blockchain-based apps, and fantasy chatbots. Adopting such technologies will continue to offer attractive chances for the market's active participants to better manage users and essential activities.
The global fantasy sports market is segmented into sports type, platform, demographics, and region.
By sports type, the global market for fantasy sports is classified into football, baseball, basketball, hockey, cricket, and others. The football segment was the highest contributor and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 14.9%. A well-respected baseline of statistic/point-value pairings intended to encourage balance across the different fantasy positions make up the standard fantasy football scoring system. The widespread popularity of fantasy football, along with the highly addictive nature of such platforms and the relative ease of obtaining information about a manager's team, has increased fantasy football's popularity. As a result, fantasy football is the leading segment of the global fantasy sports market.
The cricket segment is the fastest growing. Fantasy Cricket is an online, strategy-based sports game where a virtual team of cricketers playing in real matches worldwide is created and competed. Depending on how these players perform in real matches, points are awarded. The user's goal is to select the best playing squad from among the teams competing on a given day to outperform the opposition. There are multiple platforms for fantasy cricket, with players coming up with new improvements and innovations to keep the game engaging and enticing. Such factors contribute to segment growth.
Mobile Application Platform Segment to Hold Prime Share Due To Widespread Adoption of Mobile Phones
By platform, the global market for fantasy sports is bifurcated into websites and mobile applications. The mobile application was the highest contributor and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 15% during the forecast period. Applications are usually 1.5 times faster than mobile websites and perform actions much faster. Furthermore, various customization such as drag, pinch, hold, tap, double tap, and more perform a particular activity that increases user-friendliness. Furthermore, the widespread adoption of mobile phones with rapid market expansion has resulted in the launching of various mobile applications for different operating systems, namely Android and IoS. Engaged players are using apps to improve their processes and increase accessibility for their customers, thus driving customer engagement.
The website segment is the second largest. Websites offer a user-friendly experience to customers. In addition, mobile-optimized websites are being developed to attract targeted users and keep them engaged for a more extended period. Furthermore, websites are cheaper than mobile applications and provide a cost-effective platform for users.
By demographics, the global market for fantasy sports is divided into Under 25 Years, 25 to 40 Years, and Above 40 Years. 25-40 Years was the highest contributor and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 14% during the forecast period. The evolution of smart mobile devices and the blurring of the lines that separate gambling and gaming have accelerated the trend of fantasy sports amongst millennials. Furthermore, millennial demands easy-to-use interfaces and responsive and minimal friction interface. Moreover, they prefer alternative payment methods such as e-wallets or cryptocurrency. Therefore, engaged players in the industry are partnering with digital wallet service providers to enhance consumer experience and provide seamless transaction facilities to the players.
The Under 25 Years segment is the second largest. The below 25 years users are the highly multitasking audience that prefers quick pace-of-play sports, such as football, cricket, football, basketball, etc., rather than slow-paced sports such as baseball and golf. Furthermore, this age group is highly tech-savvy and collects information mainly through the internet. Furthermore, various social media platforms also provide tips and tricks regarding fantasy sports, which this particular generation enthusiastically follows.
By region, the global fantasy sports market is analyzed across North America, Europe, and the Rest of the World.
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North America was the highest revenue contributor and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% during the forecast period. The North American fantasy sports market is studied across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Regarding macroeconomic factors, the U.S. is the largest economy in the world in terms of GDP. On the other hand, Canada is equipped with a high-tech industrial economy. The market in North America remains slightly consolidated, with big players such as FanDuel and DraftKings leading the market share in the region. The fantasy sports market growth has attracted prominent media players in the region. Large media houses are collaborating with the platforms for better promotions and advertisements. Furthermore, significant capital investments from various investment firms, including sports teams and broadcasters, and aggressive marketing campaigns emphasizing large cash prizes, have resulted in the robust market growth in the region.
Europe is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach an expected USD 13890 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 15.8% during the forecast period. The Europe region has seen the emergence of new players, particularly on the fantasy cricket and fantasy football platforms. New players with broader product offerings, interactive applications, and large cash rewards have increased traction for contests on fantasy sports platforms in the region. In addition, European fantasy sports operators are now partnering with local sports betting companies to expand their market share and target audience. The Europe region has seen the emergence of new players, particularly on the fantasy cricket and fantasy football platforms. New players with broader product offerings, interactive applications, and large cash rewards have increased traction for contests on fantasy sports platforms in the region. In addition, European fantasy sports operators are now partnering with local sports betting companies to expand their market share and target audience.
The rest of the world includes analysis for India, Australia, Brazil, Africa, and other countries. These are mainly emerging countries with the rapid expansion of digital infrastructure. The number of internet subscribers has increased enormously in the region. Furthermore, average data usage per subscriber has also increased significantly owing to the availability of affordable smartphones. As a result, countries like India and Brazil are expected to see high market growth in the upcoming years.b Supported by content aggregators, sports scoring platforms, sports merchandising, online sports streaming, and digital payments system, the sports fantasy market has witnessed accelerated growth in the last few years. The Indian Premier League (IPL) continues to remain a widely popular league in the region, with fantasy sports platforms such as Mobile Premier League, Dream11, and MyTeam11 leveraging its popularity to expand in the market.
List of key fantasy sports market companies profiled