Research: Consumers Spend Big on Portable Digital Goods

July 25, 2011 -

The average purchase price of virtual goods in free-to-play games on mobile devices is $14, according to a new report. According to data collected by mobile analytics firm Flurry, consumers who make in-app purchases are willing to spend large amounts of money than they might have if they simply downloaded it for 99 cents. Flurry claims that 51 percent of in-app purchase transactions come from transactions that are $20 or more. The $20-or-more transactions account for only 13 percent of the total number of transactions.

“We were surprised the numbers were so high,” says Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry. “Clearly, the high end of the spending drives the average up.”

The group also claims that the digital distribution of games is disrupting the portable retail market dominated by the Nintendo DS and Sony PlayStation Portable devices. The revenue share of portable games for iOS and Android has risen from just 1 percent in 2008 to 34 percent in 2010, which is clearly a dramatic shift away from retail. Nintendo’s market share in portable games declined from 75 percent in 2008 to 57 percent in 2010.

Flurry’s numbers are based on data from 3.5 million consumers. About 71 percent of the transactions were for $10 or under; 16 percent were for $10 to $20 purchases; and the under-$10 category, most transactions were at the $9.99 level, followed by $4.99 and then 99 cents. Consumers spent 99 cents less than 2 percent of the time.

Flurry notes that the biggest decision consumers make buying or downloading a game in the first place. Once a consumer is committed to a game, they are willing to pay large amounts for items in the game. In this situation spending is very high — 5 percent of all purchases are for amounts greater than $50. Flurry calls those who spend a lot of money on in-game purchases "whales." Flurry is telling game creators to design their games to accommodate these big spenders.

By the end of 2011, Flurry claims that total U.S. iOS and Android game revenue will be well over $1 billion.

Source: Venture Beat


 
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