ads for virtual goods

Virtual goods sales on games last year came to $2.3 billion -- which is, in a word, crazy. But a great audience comment at MPSMIS points out that you can easily convert sales to incentivized advertising: rather than asking someone to shell out bucks for a virtual good, you can just have them watch an ad.  Of course, there's a business model question from the game publishers' perspective: why settle for pennies for ad views when they can get dollars through direct sales?  Geoffrey Greenblatt of Mindshare also points out that it's crucial to incorporate detailed, relevant branding into the ads-for-virtual-goods proposition: instead of just saying "watch an ad for 50 coins" it should be "watch this Nike ad in order to get a Nike-branded virtual good" (which presumably does something Nike-associated for the gamer playing the game).

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