As traditional online revenue sources like banners and search adds dwindle, just like in China, US online marketeers turn to social games and networks, writes business analyst Paul Denlinger in Forbes.
Both Chinese companies like Shanda and Groupon have been showing new ways for generate revenue online, as other sources dry up:
A large reason for the success of online games in China was because consoles such as Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s Playstation and Microsoft’s xBox were never popular in China. A combination of high console prices, fear of game piracy on the part of publishers and government policy opened up an opportunity for online gaming.
In the U.S., Zynga has grown just as fast as Shanda, seemingly coming out of nowhere. Like Shanda, it is becoming a network too, leveraging the popularity of Farmville among many social game players. One could argue that Zynga is like Shanda, except it is starting from the U.S. market…
Groupon has leveraged the popularity of group buying, an activity which has long been popular in China since at least 2004. In China, group buying is called tuangou, and was an early popular use of the Internet for organizing. In China, the authorities have been wary of uses of the Internet which allow people to organize, but organizing for commercial purposes, such as group buying, are considered harmless, and thus are not obstructed. So effective was the tuangou movement that some retailers first sought to reject volume tuangou purchases of white goods and autos, but all eventually caved in, with some eventually setting up group purchasing departments to specially serve tuangou buyers. Now, they are a natural part of the Chinese retail landscape.