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Gaming the Social: Community, Measurement & Monetization
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Gaming the Social: Community, Measurement & Monetization

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This lecture will show how the dynamics of online audiences can be harnessed and discuss essential components of a sustainable online entertainment business. Perhaps more so than traditional media and …

This lecture will show how the dynamics of online audiences can be harnessed and discuss essential components of a sustainable online entertainment business. Perhaps more so than traditional media and entertainment firms, a direct interaction with their customer base allows online game companies to cultivate loyalty and long-term profitability. To do this effectively, however, requires an ongoing effort to understand audience preferences and behaviors that go beyond the usual surface-level market research. Here, I will present several key insights into online communities and how these may fit into a larger strategic approach.


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  • 1. Gaming the SocialCommunity, Measurement & Monetization February 9, 2011 Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 2. Hellooverview Joost Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 3. Introductions what we doSuperData Research independent research provider specialized in digital goods measurement multi-year seed funding in 2010 syndicated reporting consulting services client base: brand owners, developers, retailers, publishers, VCs, and payment providers Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 4. Methodologyhow we do it Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 5. Community Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 6. Online Dynamics different online communities show similar behaviors Three different studies,...User-Generated Content Online Discussion Virtual Goods Spending maps created by unique user share of posts by unique user (%) avg. $ spent per transaction ...same community dynamics Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 7. Successful Examples commence emulation!EVE Online approx. 360,000 users 20K have been a subscriber for 8 years (!) Estimated annual revenue: $25-$35MMSkype 560 MM users 124 MM monthly actives (6.5%) 8.1 MM paying (1.45%) $100 MM IPO filing (Aug 2010) Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 8. Similarities help people help youReward “Viral Whales” • Community leaders • Product evangelist • Noob trainer • Largest share of audience passive, reactiveHousehold fundamentals • Prepaid --> gifting Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 9. Measurement Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 10. Measure Why? identify key audience segment asapGo beyond “game development vs analytics” discussion • Not mutually exclusiveGeneral insights are generally unhelpful • Understanding your own customer is keyVirality constantly under pressure • “rocket-ship growth is gone” (Playdom)Internal: Optimization • Audience segmentation Overview • Revenue drivers, KPIExternal: Transparency • Funding • Age of licensing Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 11. Measure What?both industry-wide and game-specific metricsTraffic: Daily, Monthly Lifetime ValueUsers ARPPUChannels ARPUVirality Price PointsMonetization SeasonalityDemographics Overview Time of DayAudience Segmentation FrequencyEngagement Number of Invites SentROI ReceivedA/B Testing ... Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 12. Measure What?, cont’d identify valuable differences in user behaviorGeography Lifetime Avg. Expenditure Frequency (Avg. (days) per Purchase Number of Purchases)Germany 99.81 $12.51 41.18Western Europe total 122.38 $14.25 20.3 Virtual Item Sales by Time of Day (hourly) 10% 8% 5% 3% 0% 2: 0 A M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 10 0 AM :0 M 12 00 M 1: 0 PM 2: 0 P M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 0 M 10 0 PM :0 M :0 PM PM 1: 0 A 3: 0 A 4: 0 A 5: 0 A 6: 0 A 7: 0 A 8: 0 A 9: 0 A : A :0 A 3: 0 P 4: 0 P 5: 0 P 6: 0 P 7: 0 P 8: 0 P 9: 0 P 11 0 11 0 0 :0 0 0 0 0 12 By number of transactions By $ sales Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 13. Measure How? ghost in the shellAvailability of tools • Google Analytics, Kontagent, Live Gamer, MixPanel, Omniture • Custom: e.g. Toga (Large Animal Games)Knowledge gap: need for designated driver • Top programming talent generally assigned on front-end, product-focused Overview • Need to invest in, and train monetization directors & analysts • Integrate into production process, communicate with community manager Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 14. Monetization Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 15. Monetization convincing people to pay 50%Tailor service to your customer Share by Unit Sales Share by Revenue (FB credits) • Segmentation: upgrades for 25% newbies, vanity for the elite • Value offering: premium 0% services for high rollers s r e s r lie e nt ck m th tip i Ti Po Pa O ul tra • Engagement: bundled bo s M nu Ex m Bo Co specials, seasonality “Have you ever received a prepaid game card as a gift?” • Preferences: monitor behavior and needs Yes “My mom would rather buy them 31.4% in the store than online with a No credit card.” 68.6% Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 16. Payment Mixallow customers to pay the way they want Almost $1 billion of virtual good sales transacted via alternative payment methods Overview Couleur Locale (mobile) • Europe ~10% • North America: 1% Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 17. Outlook Confidential & ProprietaryCopyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 18. Outlook what we think 2011 will bringArms raceAge of LicensingBeyond FB Overview Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research
  • 19. Thanks!joost@SuperDataResearch.com @_SuperData Confidential & Proprietary Copyright © 2011 SuperData Research