Posted in trends

Virtual Worlds 2007 – Demographics and Numbers Panel

Demographics and Numbers:  Where Things Are and Where They’re Headed

This session lays the groundwork giving you the numbers you need to
understand how to take advantage of Virtual Worlds today.  We’ll also
look at forecasts for where Virtual Worlds are going. What are the
growth projections?  And what are the factors that will promote or
inhibit growth.

– Nic Mitham, Managing Director, K Zero

growth sectors graph

– market penetration

– market development

– product development

– diversification

– on markets and products axis

market penetration

– current products into current markets

– word of mouth continues to work – viral elements

– media assists in growth

    – circle of three

    – trigger for popn growth in spec country is brand moving into space

– advertising? – cant rely purely on PR

– aging of younger popn from club penguin, whyville, habbo, etc

    – children will be outgrowing those worlds

        – i.e. flying isnt strange/novel, innovation is key

market development

– current products into new markets

– new countries – eastern europe, s amer, asia

– older dems and groups – silver surfers

– corp comm – IBM

– eductional growth – Whyville

    – 8-15

   

product development

– new products into existing markets

– easier user interfaces/better orientation

    – bridges adoption gap into early majority

    – cottage industry of SL guides

– web based remote viewers

– mobile devices

– other worlds – there, kaneva, hipihi (china)

– google my world

    – impact of google userbase/mass market penetration

   

Diversification

– new products in new markets

– category centric ‘vertical worlds’

    – football superstars

    – tribal nature that naturally develops in general worlds will lead to this

– platform centric – playstation home

– cross-world avatars

    – grows total population, not total unique users

   

Growth projections: q407-q408

– registered accounts

– SL = 10m to 20

– There – 1m t 7m

– Kaneva – .6m t 3m

– HiPiHi – 0m t 10m

– Whyville – 3m to 10m

    – european interest is driving traffic growth

– Club Penguin – 15m t 30m

– Football Superstars – 0m t 3m

Park Associates

– Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, Director, Broadband & Gaming, Parks Associates

Wrote report of game ads

Gloom and doom about virtual worlds of late in mass media

– but club penguin especially helps make you think otherwise

Launching a gaming study with more virtual worlds data in it in the next couple months, more formal VW study in feb or march

leading onlne virtual worlds

– SL

– NEopets

– Runescape

– Club Penguin

– Webkinz

– Virtual Laguna Beach

– There

– Entropis

(Social Network %/Virtual World %)

male (35/5)

female (29/7)

13-17 (53/8),

18-24 yo (71/10)

25-34 (40/12)

kids graduating to new virtual worlds when the restrictions are too high

TV is what people do less because of SL (and other VWs)

Residents of SL think it is a good medium for promoting a brand

Pros

– replicate the real worlds

– leverage interaction between the virtual and avataras

– does not require the players to pay full attention like in MMOG

– creates alot of real world buzz

Cons

– small base of active nd concurrent plyers

    – tech still limit amount of concurrent

– may not be appropriate for traditional in game ad formats due to low collective traffic in most areas

    – i.e. need to innovate past forums technology for user interaction

– properties set up by brands in vws require active management and maintenace

– vws currently deliver the best marketing results through organized
events, but there are technical limitations for hosting large-scale
events

– Mary Ellen Gordon, Owner, Market Truths Limited

– first RL research comp to set up operations in SL; wonner of SL business plan competition

– Our services include

    – custom proprietary research projects

    – standard (publicly avail) reports about

– Attitudes towards brands report released publicaly tomorrow

Advertising via IM in world and notecards was negative, especailly with neutral brands

Future measurement considerations

– active and passive data collection

– inworld versus cross world and cross channel

– reliability/validity

– use acceptability

Question – where is the underserved market?

– mid 40’s upwards – no worlds being created

– they have tech and willingness

– social networking crowd is not being served well either

– dating worlds

– more female (easier tech)

Question – estimate of VW users world wide and projections?

– Park Assoc will release report in next 6 months with these sorts of numbers

Question – comment on 80% of us will have a virtual life

– They all commented about how “medium rare” their result on and they were all working on more solid results

Question  how do you define active user?

– subscription = active in those worlds

– nonsubscription – one hour a month

– average user has 1.5 results

Question – how will EU VAT (value added tax) affect western VWs?

– think it’s mostly noise, esecially as most are

Question – what is most lucrtive demo

– young kids 8-15

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Author:

Joi Podgorny has spent the better part of the past 2 decades working on the bleeding edge of the technology and entertainment industries, from content/brand development and production to leading international support, moderation, community and social teams. Most recently, Joi founded Good People Collective, a consulting agency focused on helping companies and organizations establish, assess and pivot their internal and external cultures to help maximize their potential. She and her team are currently working on an exciting new software project, combining corporate training and virtual reality.

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