Marketers around the world will spend around $220 million on in-game and banner advertisements in social games this year (mobile app ads not included), and another $293 million in 2011, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer.
That 2010 forecast is a 20 percent increase compared to the amount eMarketer believes companies paid for social game ads in 2009, $183 million. The company notes that its prediction could be considered conservative as the social games business continues to increase in popularity.
Notably, eMarketer says social game ad spending will be down in the U.S., sagging from $144 million last year to $142 million in 2010, while it doubled in non-U.S. territories from $39 million last year to $78 million in 2010, accounting for most of this year's growth.
In 2011, though, the research firm anticipates that the amount spent on advertising in social games in the U.S. will see a 35 percent year-over-year jump to $192 million, as non-U.S. territories increase 33 percent year-over-year to $101 million.
eMarketer says that these increases will come as developers like Zynga and Disney/Playdom realize that their games are "logical advertising destinations for marketers wanting to get the attention of rabid fans."
It admits that Zynga, Facebook's most popular applications and games developer, receives 80 percent of its revenues from virtual goods, but believes the popularity of titles like FarmVille are attracting more advertiser attention.