Social gaming market to surpass $1 billion in 2011
Nearly 62 million US internet users, or 27 percent of the online audience, will play at least one game on a social network monthly in 2011, up from 53 million in 2010. Their numbers will continue to grow and, along with them, money spent on virtual goods, lead-generation offers and advertising.
Revenues from virtual goods made up the majority of social gaming revenues in the past, and they will continue to bring in the biggest share of dollars through 2012. Ad spending will grow more quickly; in 2011, marketers will spend $192m to advertise on social games, nearly a 60 percent increase over 2010. eMarketer forecasts a further rise of 41 percent in ad spending in 2012.
Rapid growth in ad spending will help its share of total revenues grow from 14.1 percent in 2010 to 20.5 percent in 2012, when it will surpass lead-generation offers as a source of developer revenues.
Such offers have been a powerful force in the social gaming market but are losing favor as marketers use games for more branding-oriented efforts. Virtual goods will hold steadily onto a share of about 60 percent of the market, said the research firm.
Paul Verna, a report author at eMarketer, said: â€œForecasts of audience and revenue growth present an opportunity for marketers to promote their brands through social games. Implementations include branded virtual goods, custom games, virtual environments within existing games and lead-generation offers.
â€œSome campaigns even combine virtual and real-world items, expanding the gaming experience beyond social networks like Facebook and Myspace. Even though fewer than six percent of US social gamers spend money on virtual items, these avid players will produce revenues of $653m in the US alone this year.
â€œThis is the largest segment of the social gaming economy, and one that marketers are increasingly turning to as a branding vehicle. We expect to see more branded virtual goods as social gaming matures over the next two years.â€
Have your say and discuss with your peers on the InfoGrok community.
Participate by posting your comments now.