Social Gaming Market to Surpass $1 Billion This Year
Social gaming is on track to be a billion-dollar business this year, according to online marketing researcher eMarketer.
Sixty-two million U.S. internet users, or 27 percent of the online audience, will play at least one game on a social network monthly this year, up from 53 million in 2010, eMarketer revealed in its report, Social Gaming: Marketers Make Their Moves. Social gaming's numbers will continue to grow and, along with them, money spent on virtual goods, lead-generation offers and advertising.
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, according to eMarketer. Ad spending will grow more quickly, however. In 2011, marketers will spend $192 million to advertise on social games, nearly a 60 percent increase over 2010. eMarketer also forecasts a further rise of 41 percent in ad spending next year.
Rapid growth in ad spending will help its share of total revenues from social gaming grow from 14.1 percent in 2010 to 20.5 percent in 2012, when it will surpass lead-generation offers as a more profitable 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, eMarketer forecasts.