Data & Research

Gamers more happy than ever to spend on virtual currencies and engage with in-app advertising

Gamers more happy than ever to spend on virtual currencies and engage with in-app advertising
The amount of money consumers spend on virtual currencies is set to increase in the years ahead, with annual revenue hitting $3.2 billion by 2017.

That's according to a study conducted by Tapjoy and the Yankee Group, which claims app-based currency spending will almost triple from its current level of $1.2 billion this year.

Up, up and away

The study indicates that a growing level of consumer comfort with virtual currency as a concept will translate to it being equated to credit card reward points or bonus airline miles.



"As expected, mature virtual currencies exhibit the highest comfort levels and are among the most used by consumers," details the report.

"Mature virtual currencies are reaching ubiquitous status across a variety of industries, helping position them as the foremost currency used by  marketers.

"Looking ahead, many of these areas will see continued use and growth as marketing initiatives adapt to the mobile channel."Changing attitudesIn addition, the study also found that user willingness to engage with adverts in exchange for apps and IAPs are also increasing.

The study's numbers suggest that more than half of tablet users are happy to pay between 99c to $2.99 for an app, compared to 41 percent of smartphone users.

54 percent of smartphone owners surveyed have also paid for an app upgrade.

Interestingly, however, when looking at a percentage of those willing to engage with advertising in exchange for free in-app content upgrades, the numbers jumped to 73 percent for tablets and 67 percent for smartphones.

[source: Tapjoy (PDF)]

US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.

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John Ozimek director at dimoso
It is luck as much as ability - Adeven put the stat out last year that 2/3 of the apps on the Apple Store have never even been downloaded.

So for developers to make money they need to not only have the right kind of app, but they also need to have a good strategy for turning loyalty into revenue.

Perhaps the willingness to engage with advertising is tied to the fact that the majority of these apps are what we consider to be the 1% - or close to it - so they are offering the kind of quality gameplay and graphics that drives IAP.

I'd love to see some specific research into this kind of thing...
Josh Dombro
Yeah, I guess 20 is probably more appropriate. I've just seen the Supercell numbers a few times and been amazed that any game could make that much money.

You're right though, I suppose it's a reason for developers to be optimistic. Though it basically requires winning the lottery...
jon jordan
Definitely right Josh. If you take out the top 20 top grossing, there's much less cash to spread around the 200,000 active apps.

I guess the point is it's now a global market and that means the top hit games can generate vast amounts of cash.
Josh Dombro
I wonder what this would look like if you took the top two or three games out of the picture though. I've seen that Clash of Clans makes about $1 million a day, so if you take "the 1%" out of the equation, how much is really being spent? $1.2 billion is a staggering amount of money either way, I'm just curious.
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