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20% of Facebook gamers spend money, an average of $35 per month

By on March 2, 2010
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Goldman Sachs have published their eighth annual Internet survey, and Nic Brisbourne has published some highlights over at the Equity Kicker.

The key ones for me were:

  • More people would consider cancelling their Pay TV service to save money than their ISP (21% to 10%) – oh dear, Sky
  • The dominant activities on social networks are messaging (72% of respondents), photo sharing (55%) and games (27%)
    • and 20% of those gamers spend money, averaging at $35 per month
  • Two thirds of consumers prefer pay per use revenue models, one third prefer subscription services

This data applies to the US only, but is valuable nevertheless. I find the news that Average Revenue per Paying User (ARPPU) is $35, with a 20% conversion rate, to be mindboggling, and fabulous news for moving into the social gaming space.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:
  • Joel

    Average Revenue per Paying User (ARPPU) is $35…, per paying user is the key here, ARPU is much different as it takes your total MAU

  • delnergaard

    I imagine that figure is the annual spend.

    If it were monthly spend, Zynga would be making over $560Million, per month, just from Farmville. Over $6.5Billion per year… from playing at being a farmer. I don't think so.

    Still, that being annual spend rather than monthly, still represents a that $560Million+, if their players are typical of that 20% that spend.

    There's certainly money to be made from social gaming. It may not have reached that level yet, but… give it time and it just might.


  • I agree that figure seems very high. I haven't seen the original Goldman's research to be able to comment on its validity, unfortunately.

  • tadhgk

    I can buy that 5% of users (20% of 27% is 5%) spend per month. But $35?? Not a hope. More like $3.50.