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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 12, 2011

Report: African-Americans biggest virtual goods spenders

By 2012 eMarketer estimates the virtual goods market (US, in social games) will exceed $790 million; some other research indicates the virtual goods marketplace will generate billions for brands in the space. A new report from MocoSpace indicates which demographics are currently the most engaged with virtual goods.

by Kristina Knight

mocospaceinfog.jpgVirtual goods are revenue sources for scads of free-to-play online and social games, including the games within MocoSpace's platform. According to their research Caucasian and African-American demographics are most engaged with virtual goods - at the moment.

The African-American and Hispanic demographics made up the bulk of survey respondents, responsible for 36% and 31% of gamers respectively. Hispanics, however, are responsible for only 21% of virtual goods purchases while African-American players are responsible for 38% of purchases. Causasians, 18% of the respondent base, made 26% of virtual goods purchases during the study dates.

Meanwhile Asian-Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders made up about 4% of the base and for 4% (each) of the purchases.

"Virtual goods have now become such a mainstream business that it makes sense to really start segmenting it. We've started to sort our data by a number of criteria, including ethnicity and gender. Over time, this sort of information will change how mobile game developers and publishers create content and market their titles, something that is already happening in console and online gaming industry," said MocoSpace CEO Justin Siegel.

Virtual goods can represent anything from branded virtual coffee, which can be gifted to other players, to rewards icons which can be purchased and then attached to a gaming profile.

Tags: MocoSpace, social commerce, social gaming, social marketing, virtual goods, virtual purchases

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