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U.S. Spends Big On Virtual Goods

     
12:58 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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U.S. Spends Big On Virtual Goods [news.bbc.co.uk]
Americans look set to spend $1bn (600m) on virtual goods in 2009, claims a report.

The cash will be spent on add-ons for online games, digital gifts and other items that exist only as data.

Total spend on such items is expected to be up by 100% over 2008 and to double again by the end of 2010, said the analysts behind the report.

In related news, Facebook is updating its gift store so it offers a wider variety of virtual presents.

4:38 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Virtual gifts? Virtual presents? What the heck is that?lol
4:44 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The cash will be spent on add-ons for online games, digital gifts and other items that exist only as data.
Virtual gifts? Virtual presents? What the heck is that?lol

Sounds a lot like the stock market...
5:29 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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LifeinAsia pawns the stock market for the lulz!

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5:53 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how if pron and gambling are in the figures... if so, it seems low.
6:25 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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lol @ sounds a lot like the stock market...some truth to that obviously
9:02 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I find the Facebook gifts funny. Facebook is selling the idea that you are spending money on someone. Better than the pet rock.
9:58 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Considering how for the last 20 years the US and especially the financial sector has been run by people with IMO virtual qualifications ..MBA's ...colour me very unsurprised ..and pessimistic as to the country's return to the real world of make something in order to make exports ..to make real money..
10:04 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Can we export all the morons from here (the U.S.)? I know know they're not worth very much individually, but we'll certainly make it up in volume!
10:15 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Amazing how ignorance makes some immediately discount something as 'not in the real world'...
10:24 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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experience allows one to see straight past and through smoke and mirrors ..ignorance is when the illusions blind one
10:46 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Virtual gifts? Virtual presents? What the heck is that?lol

it's what worked for international social networks too. basically, if you like a person X, you can send them a virtual gift. or instead of giving them 5 points (out of 5) for their photo, you can get them 5+, which costs N cents. apparently monetizes "social" traffic well.

10:56 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Probably the Russians (Digital Sky Technologies) have brought that in - Russian women in odnoklassniki are spending like crazy on it - now it seems to be time to introduce it to some less affluent markets.
1:42 am on Oct 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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crazy world :-). I could only imagine something like that working for teenagers (if they had credit cards, in the first place). If this becomes an important trend, I guess I might lose a couple of friends online (for not sending them such gifts) :-)
1:18 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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that number can't include adult or gambling. It is actually kinda low for what I expected.

[edited by: lorax at 6:01 pm (utc) on Oct. 25, 2009]

6:53 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree greenleavers, it doesn't include gambling and IS low.

I got my start in virtual goods selling when Richard Garriott created Ultima Online over 10 years ago. I quit that ultra competitive market as soon as I could afford to move into real goods but it was quite the experience.

eBay got it's legs by allowing virtual goods such as game gold and items from Ultima Online and other games early on... yet they turned their backs on it when they got serious with paypal.

It's definitely not a market for the faint of heart, if you carry $50,000 in virtual "stock" it could vanish instantly and NOBODY will help you recover it.

Still... I'm one of todays net entrepreneurs who got his feet wet with virtual goods and I KNOW I'm not alone in that sense. The good ol' days!