SAN FRANCISCO – May 21, 2013 – Tapjoy, Inc. (www.tapjoy.com), a leading mobile advertising and publishing platform, today released the “Redefining Virtual Currency” study, conducted by Yankee Group on behalf of Tapjoy, examining the current state of virtual rewards such as loyalty points, credit card points, airline miles, app-based virtual currencies and more. The study found that mobile consumers prefer to engage with advertisements, rather than paying money, as a means to receive virtual rewards and premium content. One out of five mobile device owners engages with advertising daily in exchange for virtual rewards and premium content, and nearly one in two does so at least monthly.
Alternative payment methods, such as advertising engagements and exchange of personal information, represent a rapidly growing segment of the virtual currency economy, which Yankee Group estimates to have been worth $47.5 billion in 2012 and projects to grow to $55.4 billion by 2017. Advertising engagements represent the fastest-growing segment of this virtual currency economy, projected to grow more than 200 percent to nearly $900 million by 2017.
“Yankee Group’s report confirms that mobile is disrupting how consumers want and expect to receive virtual rewards and premium content,” said Peter Dille, CMO, Tapjoy. “We expect this virtual currency model will continue to grow through mobile beyond games and into other types of content, such as music, print media and video content.”
“Given sizable adoption rates and comfort levels, consumers are clearly expressing that they value virtual currencies, helping set the stage for continued growth,” said Jordan McKee, analyst with Yankee Group and author of the whitepaper. “Mobile device owners have demonstrated that they’re willing to interact with a brand by exchanging their time (ad-views) and personal data for free digital content. Since users choose to take part in this exchange, the engagement can be far more meaningful and powerful than pop-up, banner or television advertisements. Marketers that opt to leverage this model have the potential to realize robust engagement rates because their mobile audiences view the exchange as worthwhile.”
The study also found other evidence of this growing trend, such as: