41 million play fantasy sports in US and Canada, but has growth slowed?

Ipsos, a global market research company, has announced that through its research on behalf of the Fantasy Trade Sports Association that 41 million people in the US and Canada are playing fantasy sports. That represents a 5 million person increase from 2012 when their last research was done.

The method to which Ipsos collected that data was through an Ipsos poll done from May 14-19, 2014 and used random selection of 1209 US teens/adults and 1300 Canadian teens/adults in online interviews.

We looked at the Ipsos research and then took the numbers published on FSTA own website to look at trends from last year.

Percentage of Men playing fantasy sports in the US
2013 - 19%  
2014 - 22%  (27.9 million players) (+3%)

Percentage of Women playing fantasy sports in the US
2013 - 8%
2014 - 6% (8 million players) (-2%)

Percentage of College graduates playing fantasy sports in the US
2013 - 18% 
2014 - 19% (+1%)

Percentage of No College playing fantasy sports in the US
2013 - 10%
2014 -  9% (-1%)

Percentage of Men playing fantasy sports in the Canada
2013 - 20%
2014 - 27% (4 million players) (+7%)

Percentage  of Women playing fantasy sports in the Canada
2013 - 5%
2014 - 12% (1.8 million)  (+7%)

The 2014 Ipsos reports also states that in the US, the incidence of play in the US has been been steady at 14% and inline with an increase growth with the population. In the 2012 that percentage was at 13%. In Canada, incidence of play did increase 19% in 2014 vs. 12% in 2012.

FtSb says:  The new Ipsos research claim that 5 million more players play fantasy sports since 2012 when the last research was done. That means that in 2012 there were 36 million players.  The FSTA website states that there were 36.6 million players in 2013. So the 4.4 million player jump since last year does indeed signify an important increase. This is considering that from 2012 to 2013 that there was only a 600,000 increase. The number and scale of the Ipsos research is different than what Nielsen reports when they measure the number of users accessing the Big 4 (Yahoo!, ESPN, NFL.com, CBS Sports) sites for fantasy football on mobile. Nielsen reported 10.3 million users have done that last year. When you take this number along with user behavior for mobile and user preference for fantasy football, then the estimated number of fantasy sports players in the US from last year only reaches 24.86 million players.  It will be interesting to note if Nielsen reports will also confirm the same percentage increase of fantasy players as Ipsos. No doubt, an area of growth to the 41 million players can be attributed to mobile as well as the daily fantasy games that have increased player participation in fantasy sports. However, a concern that is revealed is that the number of US women participating in fantasy sports has dropped 2%. Women represent a growth area for the industry as well as sports such as football that are looking to expand the market. Women playing in Canada did increase 12% however that market represent a smaller one than the US.