A new study from Magid Advisors on virtual goods states that sales have increased steadily over the years and consumer spend on the sector in 2011 hit $2.3 billion, up from $1.8 billion in 2009.
Sectors noted in the study included online games, digital media, and social networks, according to Gamasutra, and in the US, one in four between the ages of 15 and 24 purchased virtual goods in 2011 – which is double the percentage of 2009.
Of the 600 polled, gamers were the most willing to purchase virtual goods with 35% spending money on the sector last year – up 50% from 2010. Each spend on average $64 a year on virtual goods, which is a 28% increase over 2009.
Males were more likely to purchase virtual goods last year with half under the age of 24 tossing money at the items. The 2010 study found that only 15% of women in the same age group were likely to spend in the sector.
“Purchasing virtual goods is truly becoming a mainstream activity as far as consumer entertainment behaviors are concerned,” said Magid Advisors president Mike Vorhaus.
Most said they purchased virtual items in order “to be able to do more,” “to get a better experience playing,” “to reach an advanced level or state,” or “to decorate or develop my avatar or to express myself.”