It’s no surprise that the social web is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to monetizing users although the industry is still in its infancy. With extremely high engagement, monetization solution providers are quickly ramping up their efforts to help publishers get more out of their user base, especially as the climate of virility stagnates on dynamic platforms like Facebook. Today TrialPay announced the launch of DealSpot, a promotion framework that brings exclusive, branded and local deals to social applications and games. How will this fare against others like OfferPal and Super Rewards in the monetization space?
TrialPay will be working with a range of partners including Groupon, LOVEFiLM, Rue La La and others to provide publishers an API they can use to customize deal integrations within their apps and games. DealSpot has been in private beta for the last six months being tested by companies like Playdom and Playfish.
Let’s look at a breakdown of what TrialPay, Offerpal (now known as Tapjoy), Super Rewards and Peanut Labs are offering. TrialPay’s DealSpot is allowing publishers to promote deals to players based on player performance. For example, iWin will display special promotions to players who have reached certain levels. DealSpot’s true strength lies in its in-game targeting and customization capabilities that publishers can leverage differently for each game. DealSpot is also working with Groupon, Tippr and LivingSocial to bring local deals for its consumers. For example, Sorority Life rewarded players who purchased the Gap Groupon Deal for $25 off a $50 purchase with with special Brownie Points.
We interviewed TrialPay back in August of 2009. TrialPay had deep connections with 2000 advertisers at the time. Inside sources tell us that TrialPay’s decks and campaign breakdowns are very well put together. The experience counts for something, especially in this industry which is quite nascent as only 1-3% of 300 million social game players are purchasing virtual goods. Comparatively the asian market is far advanced with some games seeing close to 10 percent conversion rates on its users.
TrialPay is in a different position than Offerpal as it was selected to be one of the offer providers by Facebook for Facebook Credits along with Peanut Labs. As Facebook’s “de facto exclusive free payment partner,” TrialPay will continue its focus on social gaming vs Offerpal who today announced its renaming as TapJoy Inc. and will be focusing more on mobile platforms. Neither Super Rewards nor Offerpal provide a monetization solution where players see different offers based on their performance although the others have their own offerings like Offerpal’s SocialKast which provides developers a cross-platform messaging viral API for its users.
Super Rewards has also been quite active in releasing multiple monetization methods for publishers. As we announced in September, Super Rewards offers an in-game overlay, an offer banner and an offer wall that hosts video offers, surveys, shopping rewards and tasks, similar to Offerpal. A key direction these companies are heading is to integrate in-game offers which yield a much higher reward than a disjointed offer wall as Peanut Labs revealed a while back. These announcements are essentially for marketing purposes as Offerpal and Peanut Labs had been offering similar services like direct banner and display ads as well.
Peanut Labs is also in a similar boat although their recent acquisition will probably have them focusing more strongly on surveys as well as innovation. Peanut Labs announced ‘Cherry Deals’ back in February that allow users to earn virtual currencies by buying local goods and services at huge discounts. Cherry Deals would work using a user’s IP address to figure out their location and serve up national and local deals. We don’t, currently know much about the Cherry Deals product except that Zeeves, Meez and some others announced in March they’d be incorporated these local deals to offer to their players.
It’s too early to tell how things will turn out but the future belongs to those companies that have strong brand relations, a solid platform with customizable integrations, in-game offerings and strong business ethics. But today we celebrate a truly innovative product from the hard working folks out in TrialPay.
“We’ve seen a significant increase in user engagement and overall revenue from DealSpot,” says David Cordis, Product Manager for iWin’s Family Feud. “Our offer-based revenue has more than doubled on past DealSpot promotions, enabling us to convert more players into payers.”