The launch comes amid record-breaking consumer spending on video games and gaming equipment in the U.S. and abroad, as well as growing adoption by new demographic segments.
Minute Media, which already operates 90min for global soccer coverage and 12UP covering the American sports and cultural scene, launched DBLTAP in beta some months ago. It used the same basic model as its other verticals, a combination of original editorial content and video sourced directly from major esports leagues, such as ESL, E-League, DreamHack and Fnatic.
Content includes highlights from esports tournaments – many of them huge events with thousands of attendees and prize pools ranging into the millions. It also includes short-form video, polls and quizzes, and a variety of content contributed by fans and curated by DBLTAP’s editorial staff.
According to Routman, Minute has a ready promotional platform, thanks to its other properties, as many of the readers for 90min and 12UP are also gamers and esports fans. Like soccer (make that “football”), esports has a truly global fan base.
“A key advantage for us is that it’s not just a U.S. business, it’s a global business. Some of the best teams in esports are from Brazil or Korea. The fact that we already do content in 11 languages, that we have contributors in all these countries around the world, gives us a much better chance than others in launching an esports brand,” says Routman.
Currently, Minute Media’s established sports properties get around 75 million unique visitors per month, while DBLTAP has already managed to attract around 3 million uniques per month.
Advertisers are also eager to reach esports fans, Routman added. He noted several big brands approached DBLTAP while still in beta, including for the global launch of “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” from Warner Bros.
DBLTAP’s advertising business is dominated by branded content, produced by brands in collaboration with Minute Media’s in-house creative team. Routman also said there is a big opportunity to monetize DBLTAP’s esports content via syndication.