Virtual Worlds: Children are our future

More than 200 virtual world vendors are targeting children, planting the seeds for future monetization.

Dave Rosenberg Co-founder, MuleSource
Dave Rosenberg has more than 15 years of technology and marketing experience that spans from Bell Labs to startup IPOs to open-source and cloud software companies. He is CEO and founder of Nodeable, co-founder of MuleSoft, and managing director for Hardy Way. He is an adviser to DataStax, IT Database, and Puppet Labs.
Dave Rosenberg

Virtual Worlds Management today released its updated Youth Worlds Analysis with the latest data showing more than 200 youth-oriented virtual worlds live, planned, or in active development.

Strangely, the under-7 market (if there is such a thing) is the most heavily targeted with 107 worlds aiming for market share.This strikes me as a bit odd considering that the most you can hope for with kids under 7 years old is some brand recognition, with a subscription as the best-case scenario. Kids that age are notoriously fickle which makes it very difficult to monetize them. But teens appear to be a nascent market.

The teen market, and of course that of adults, seems relatively wide open, though, and potentially even easier to monetize. So while the youth market has been the booming growth space of the industry so far, and likely will continue to be to some degree, we might soon be spending a bit more of our time tracking adult offerings as well.

The report also suggests that "there is an increase in worlds aiming to serve families from the time their children are 3 years old and on" with a particular interest in educational content. That makes sense, and I suspect that trend will continue. The big question is how to make money?

Full report: 200+ Youth-Oriented Worlds Live or Developing