The current issue of Fast Company highlights one of the fastest growing global industries – virtual goods. Worldwide sales are projected to nearly double to $1.9billion from $992million in 2008. As with many things tech, Asia is way ahead of the U.S., with consumers in China, Japan, and South Korea driving sales.
Virtual goods are anything from the flower icons you buy for friends on Facebook or MySpace to branded apparel and accessories to dress your favorite online game character. Virtual goods are sold in four primary areas: social networks, online dating sites, games, and virtual worlds, reports Brian Balfour of Viximo . One stat I found intriguing – FooPets members spend an average of $25 per month outfitting and feeding their virtual Fifis and Fidos, about the same amount that pet owners spend on their live animal companions.
This year’s Virtual Goods Conference is being held in San Jose in September, I wonder if the Marriott expects to be paid with cash or virtual gifts? So, how many of you have tapped your credit card to purchase a virtual good? Have you been the recipient of a virtual gift – and what did you think of the giver?