Esports won’t die — but 2023’s esports winter might become an ice age in 2024
For the past year, competitive gaming has been surrounded by a narrative of doom and gloom. As some brands pull away from spending in the space, esports teams’ over-reliance on brand partnerships has become glaringly apparent, making it increasingly urgent for esports companies to carve out more sustainable revenue streams.
In spite of these stumbling blocks, however, the core product of competitive gaming remains incredibly popular. Viewership is continuing to rise, and the esports companies that survive the inevitable consolidation of 2024 could reap the rewards as esports and gaming fandom becomes truly mainstream. — Alexander Lee
Publishers won’t see any big, immediate gains from the collapse of third-party tracking
Publishers had high hopes that the end of widespread tracking would put them back in the driver’s seat, finally allowing them to profit from their audiences. However, it turns out this isn’t a guaranteed win – at least not yet. There are numerous hurdles to overcome before publishers can truly seize control. Most importantly, the industry needs to agree on what tracking without third-party cookies will actually look like. Right now, it seems like it will involve a variety of identity solutions, not just one. Authenticated IDs, based on user consent within a publisher’s domain, are promising, but their true value in the market remains uncertain. So, while publishers had dreams of immediate gains, they may have to wait a bit longer for the reality to catch up. — Seb Joseph
A U.S. federal privacy law won’t arrive in 2024; the delivery of Privacy Sandbox looks tenuous (even if Google says it’s business as usual)
In 2024, the long-awaited U.S. federal privacy law and Google’s Privacy Sandbox are unlikely to materialize, creating frustration within the industry. Privacy concerns have loomed large in the online advertising sector throughout the 2020s, initially triggered by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations in 2016. These regulations forced the industry to seek explicit user consent for targeting and tracking, a departure from the earlier era of unchecked data collection.
Subsequently, individual U.S. states introduced their privacy laws, most notably the California Consumer Privacy Act in 2018. Apple also played a significant role by implementing privacy measures, starting with Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari in late 2017.