A summary report of a study sponsored by PlaySpan and carried out by performed by Magid and Associates shows that 12% of Americans bought virtual goods over the last 12 months. The study also showed that almost half of those found to buy virtual goods were virtual world players. After researching various sources, the study found that firms such as Strategic Analytics believe that microtransactions will grow from slightly over $1 billion today to a worldwide figure of $17.3 billion by 2015.
According to the study, 12% of the overall population surveyed reported that they had bought virtual goods in the last 12 months. However, a closer look at the digital entertainment habits of virtual goods buyers reveals that virtual world visitors are the heaviest virtual goods buyers, with 46% of these consumers buying virtual goods (from virtual worlds, games or social networks) and nearly one third of iPhone owners buying from the same platforms.