Peanut Labs and Nexon Announce Teen Survey

Industry-Leading Social Media Research Sampler and Online Gaming Pioneer Partner to Help Market Researchers Understand Teens’ Preferences and Buying Power

SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL 29, 2010 — Peanut Labs, the leading provider of social media market research and monetization services, today announced a partnership with Nexon America, the trailblazing publisher of online gaming and massively multiplayer online (MMO) titles, to conduct surveys of online teens.

During a three-month period, respondents are being recruited into Peanut Labs’ social media sample group through Nexon’s library of online games, including the world-famous franchise MapleStory, the fantasy title Mabinogi, and the fast-paced first-person shooter Combat Arms. Participants will receive credits that can be redeemed within the in-game NX shops in Nexon‘s game titles. Currently, over 200 million social gamers and users of social networks can earn virtual goods and credits by participating in Peanut Labs surveys and alternate-monetization offers.

The survey group promises to provide in-depth insight into trends and preferences among teenagers, a demographic group coveted by the top research firms, including Ipsos, Kantar, and Nielsen, which turn to Peanut Labs for over 70% of all social media sampling.

“There is huge demand for insight into teens’ behavior,” said Sean Case, Senior Vice President of Peanut Labs. “Now that Facebook has embraced Peanut Labs surveys as a means of earning Facebook Credits virtual currency, we have unrivaled access to learn what teens want. Partnering with Nexon further extends our reach to teens who play the hottest social games and MMOs.”

“Our gamers enjoy taking Peanut Labs’ surveys in our free-to-play online games. Given Peanut Labs’ experience and the user-friendly nature of their surveys, we know that this survey panel will help us learn much more about what our users want — both online and offline,” said Won Il Sue, Nexon America’s Vice President of Business Development.

About Peanut Labs

Peanut Labs helps the publishers of online content maximize their earning potential and enables market researchers to make informed decisions based on quality survey data.

Publishers monetize social media applications and games with a mix of discount deals, global payments, offers, and online surveys. Market researchers make informed decisions based on the quality data and advanced recruiting methodology of Peanut Labs’ innovative social media sample.

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with offices in Seattle and New York, Peanut Labs’ surveys and monetization opportunities reach more than 200 million monthly website visitors on over 200 leading social networking communities and applications.

About Nexon America

Nexon America Inc. is the North American publishing arm of Nexon Group, a pioneer of interactive entertainment software and the world’s leader in massively multiplayer online games. Based in Los Angeles, the company’s growing library of titles includes the world famous franchise MapleStory, the new fantasy life of Mabinogi, the fast-paced, first-person shooter Combat Arms and the online, arcade-style multiplayer, hyper-puzzle action game PopTag!. More information is available at http://www.nexon.net.

Contact

For Peanut Labs

Jonathan E Cowperthwait

jonathanc@spiralgroup.com

415-869-8579 x.712

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Peanut Labs Fireside Chat with Founder of Seesmic

Our very own Murtaza Hussain takes a moment to catch up with founder and CEO of Seesmic, Loic Le Meur. For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with Le Meur’s platform,  Seesmic produces one of the most popular Twitter and Facebook social software applications on the web,  helping users to share and receive feedback for up to 50 social networks. In our interview series, Le Meur discusses his web application, as well as his desktop and mobile platforms such as Android and Blackberry.  Business Week Magazine also named Loic one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Web.


Peanut Labs Launches Social Media Australia Sample

Peanut Labs’ New Sample Product to Provide Access to Over 226,000 Respondents Down Under

SEATTLE – February 25, 2010 – Peanut Labs, the leading provider of social media sample for market research, today announced the launch of its Australia sample consisting of over 226,000 Aussie respondents. Social Media Australia sample is the first of the company’s Social Media Sample International Suite, being rolled out in a number of different countries throughout 2010.

“Our goal for this year is to become more proactive about understanding and addressing our clients’ research needs,” said Sean Case, senior vice president of Peanut Labs. “We recognize that there is an increasing demand for access to respondents outside of North America and the UK and are planning to rollout our family of social media sample internationally throughout 20 different countries in order to best meet such requests.”

Utilizing a unique methodology of sampling respondents through online social platforms such as Facebook – which alone provides access to over 6,500,000 active users over the age of 13 who live in Australia – Peanut Labs now has the ability to target Aussie residents based on age, gender, employment status and marital status. Peanut Labs’ Social Media Australia sample offers market researchers a chance to better understand the consumer behavior of this country down under.

For more information regarding Peanut Labs’ Social Media Australia sample, contact Sean Case at sean.case@peanutlabs.com or sales@peanutlabs.com.

About Peanut Labs

Peanut Labs is changing the way the world conducts online market research. With its social media sample, Peanut Labs enables online market researchers to make informed decisions based on quality data through its advanced recruiting methodology and partnerships with over 200 leading online social networking applications and communities. Peanut Labs is based in San Francisco with offices in Seattle and New York City. The company was founded in July 2007 and is privately held. For more information, visit http://www.peanutlabs.com.

Highlights of Last Week’s Discussion Panel

If history is truly written by the winners, then last Thursday  will likely  go down in history as a pivotal discussion between a handful of social media giants.  As we mentioned on Monday’s blog, our COO Ali Moiz roped in a panel of of 2009’s biggest “winners” into an engaging  discourse on the future of the social gaming platform for 2010 at the Google headquarters in Mountain View. Included in the panel is the shrewd wisdom of well -seasoned editor Eric Eldon of  Inside Social Games .

If you’re anything like me during the State of the Union address, then you appreciate highlights in a blog to serve as a useful companion to the videotaped event. Look no further. You don’t want to miss out on the insight of these power players.

The backbone of the discussion, of course, rested on the future of monetization in the social gaming space.  Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite dismal, riveting, and sometimes optimistic insight from our panelists.

Daniel James fired up the symposium, immediately reiterating his position about the future of social gaming and monetizaton.  James’ recent post on his blog, The Flogging Will Continue seeded the topic of the discussion. James denotes,  “Customer acquisition is cheaper on Facebook than it is on the Internet …so you look at that and you say, well Facebook isn’t making any money off of this and that is absurd. From their point of view I think it’s perfectly legitimate for them to say, ‘Okay, we’d like to take some of the money here, how can we do that?'”.

He concedes,”Why shouldn’t we as game developers have to pay to access a user base?”

But all is not lost for the little guys tinkering away in their developer garage with minimal VC funding.  James asserts, “Revenue will increase this year.  But I don’t think that that means necessarily that the same gold rush circumstances that have existed previously will continue.”

Jonathan Flesher, VP of Business Development, Zynga softens the blow: “I do think in the end, games will still continue to grow on the Facebook platform and it will be a better user experience overall.”

Lisa Marino, Chief Revenue Officer of RockYou presents an interesting model to help remedy the fear of shark tank economic trends, arguing, “In general…I think the overall trend is— especially with the Facebook changes, this seems much more of a math equation and much more of an advertising game.  And I think what Facebook is doing on the credit side is an interesting alternative that really helps some of the smaller developers stay in the game and it helps to even the playing field. Because unless you’re RockYou or Zynga, where you can throw many millions of dollars at a game launch, it’s very difficult for a smaller developer to get a game off the ground. And by participating, I think, on the payments platform, you’ve got an opportunity as a smaller developer to leverage some of the distribution that Facebook’s bringing to the table as part of that overall program.”

As Daniel James strongly argues on his blog that “there just aren’t many more people left who havn’t made a FB account,”  Mark Rose, Director of Product, Payments and Platform, Playspan, counters ” Facebook has let’s say 300 to 350 million users it’s still at the end of the day it hasn’t gone completely mainstream yet.”  Rose fights with indisputable numbers as much as James sways with gut hunch.

Wilson Kriegel, VP of Business Development and Ad Sales, Outspark shares some of James’ self-dubbed “slightly apocalyptic” outlook when he warns, ” quite frankly, the cost of direct marketing will go up.  The cost of operating a business will go up.  The cost of development per game and game production development needs to increase in quality.  Ultimately it comes to the LTV is going to be the big buzz word of 2010, which is one of my predictions I guess. LTV is how you’re going to run your business…you don’t own your users. So, reality check, Facebook owns the users. You […] are just able to monetize them”.

And the little guys?

“VCs are going to stop funding a lot of the small players because they won’t be able to compete and they won’t see the ROI.”

Kriegel’s prediction isn’t completely dismal, however.  He offers valuable insight and ups the ante on the 2010  social gaming platform.  2007’s enchantment of short-lived “distractions” of super pokes will give way to the longer embrace of deeper connections through social gaming. “Right now … I believe they’re really scratching the surface on what it means to be social. I think we’ll see something that is much, much more social in social games next year that will have a huge effect on the industry.”

Quite possibly, 2010 will see gaming developers concentrate on long-term goals by evolving the quality over quickfire ways to bloat viral growth spurts. Imagine a harmonious marriage between a user-centric approach and stronger long-term relationships with investors.

Eric Eldon predicts, “I think we’re going to see another company, at least, it might not get quite as big as Zynga but it will come out of nowhere and surprise the industry”. All ears perk up in the room.  Sure. Every rep there has been a part of that.  The surprise contender from out of left field is what every developer strives for, is inspired by, or is wary of. Usually all of the above.

Eldon also touches upon the very important topic of mobile apps: “I think, a lot of mobile app developers who are building social cell games on the iPhone, Android, et cetera…I think they’ve been experimenting with virtual goods now that Apple is letting them do that more within their games.. [and] come out with the next generation of mobile games that monetizes much better with virtual goods and social features. ”

And Lisa Marino agrees. She ends this portion of the discussion with what I believe to be the most riveting and perhaps inspiring note: “Brands are now really coming online to embrace, and want to participate in, social gaming in a very big way and they want to sponsor premium experiences inside of games.”

Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

Only history will reveal.

Our very own Ali Moiz shares his own 2010 forecast on Eldon’s blog Inside Social Games.

1. Non-premium apps that generate “viral” traffic and make money largely off display ads will take a big hit as a category. There will be individual apps who figure out how to go viral, but in aggregate this category will decline at least 25% in terms of MAUs.

2. Social games will be affected as well, though not as much as 1 since they can compensate through ad-spending and a higher % of returning users. Competition will heat up since there are less free/viral users to go around. Ad spending and user acquisition rates will increase, rewarding those developers with deeper content that monetizes better.

3. Friend app invites/requests will become largely ineffective. Their proposed placement according to current FB screenshots means they will be checked as frequently by users as “Updates” currently are in the Inbox, i.e. almost never. Expect this viral channel to become ineffective compared to today.

4. Developers will spam email en-masse in desperation, resulting in that channel becoming useless and ignored. Relevant email updates will likely get drowned out by email spam generated by other apps. Already there are email providers offering to “sell” Facebook emails collected from apps. I’ve been pitched rates of $150 per 1 million verified FB emails by 3rd-party vendors. At those rates, there will be massive spam flooding the system next month via email.

5. The newsfeed will be the main viral channel left for most apps. Apps will genuinely have to push out more relevant and highly engaging content to get exposure. Current newsfeed spam methods will become less effective when everyone starts spamming the newsfeed next month.

The new society norm

So I ran into an article on mashable about how social media has changed society’s way on interacting with each other. I know some of you maybe be thinking “duh” when I say that, but after reading the article, it really made me think about how big of an impact social media has made in our everyday lives.

Now I know this initially re-tweeted on twitter, but I feel this article is an important read for anyone that has been affected or works with social media.

What’s your opinion on social media? How has it changed the way we socialize with others?

http://mashable.com/2010/01/07/social-media-changed-us/