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Marketing Actions Best Way to Monetize Social Gamers

Posted on 3.10.2010

According to data released at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, more than half of the social gamers responding to a survey said they would be “very likely” to complete a marketing action to earn virtual currency for the games they play on social networks. By comparison, only 22.8 percent said that they would be willing or able to buy points by using credit cards, mobile billing, bank transfers or PayPal.

The news is significant for developers, who struggle to monetize even three percent of their users through direct payment for virtual currency. According to the study conducted by comScore, and supported by Offerpal Media’s own network-wide monetization performance numbers, developers can monetize significantly larger portions of their user base through alternative means such as asking them to fill out surveys, watch videos, shop at online retailers or sign up for subscriptions to earn points to play games.

The comScore study revealed that 53.3 percent of 799 panelists who play games on the leading social networks at least once a month were enthusiastic about participating in the marketing actions to earn virtual points. Of the 69.3 percent of the respondents that said they have the means to pay for virtual currency with cash options, 34.9 percent of those said they were “very unlikely” to part with their money in order to purchase points.

The preference toward alternative methods of payment was also supported by the metrics from Offerpal, which specializes in virtual currency monetization for online games, virtual worlds and social networks. Since introducing surveys in September 2009 as part of a system of rotating alternative payment options, the company has seen a 20-percent increase in the number of users it is able to monetize.

Similar tests of Offerpal’s video campaigns revealed that 75 percent of gamers who viewed a video ad in exchange for virtual currency had never before completed any type of offer nor made a direct payment. Nearly 10 percent of those users went on to complete at least one or more transactions, often incremental cash purchases, in just the first week after watching a video.

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