PlaySpan Study Shows Growth In Virtual Goods Marketplace

Virtual goods are booming and there are various startups who are capitalizing on this growth by facilitating the exchange and e-commerce around these goods. PlaySpan, which powers micro-payments across over 1,000 video games and virtual worlds, has virtual goods storefronts on Facebook, MySpace, within games and on its standalone site.

The marketplace lets users sell, exchange and purchase online game items, virtual goods, and game currencies for online games and applications. Today, PlaySpan is releasing a study in conjunction with research firm VGMarket, which reveals interesting statistics about consumer behavior with virtual goods.

The survey collected responses from 2,425 customers across the PlaySpan Marketplace, Spare Change, and Ultimate Game Card (other PlaySpan properties). According to the report, 31% of the total number of respondents said they have sold digital goods and 39% of the remaining 69% of respondents, expressed that they are either interested or very interested in doing so. In-Game Virtual Currency is the most frequently sold digital good from player to player and two out of three sellers sold in-game currency in the last 12 months, earning a median of $22 (U.S.).

Of course, it’s important to note that the cross section of people surveyed are obviously interested in virtual goods, since they are PlaySpan customers. But the fact that a third of digital goods buyers reported that they also sold goods is promising for the virtual goods marketplace space. I’d be interested to see why the individuals who didn’t sell digital goods but were interested in doing so haven’t yet participated on the selling side.

PlaySpan, which recently acquired micro-transaction app developer Spare Change, has processed more than $50 million worth of micro-transactions through its PayByCash and Ultimate Game Card products. PlaySpan also raised $16.8 million in a series B funding last Fall from Easton Capital Group, Menlo Ventures, Novel TMT Ventures, and STIC. The startup was founded by a 12-year-old, Arjun Mehta, but it is actually run by his father, CEO and co-founder Karl Mehta. PlaySpan faces competition from Live Gamer, which we recently wrote about here.