Zynga S1: Virtual Goods Paid With Virtual Money
One issue that I hope to see disclosure about is Facebook Credits — the currency that Facebook is requiring app developers to implement — that sends a 30% revenue share to Facebook. Some potential questions that I look forward to possibly seeing answered are below, both about Zynga and perhaps even more interesting in starting to think about the Facebook revenue model and its down-the-road IPO .
1) Zynga is probably not paying 30 in revenue share, perhaps through a mechanism by which Facebook refunds Zynga some money back in advertising credits. It will be interesting to see how that standoff settled out.
2) The result of that negotiation will reveal some information regarding the negotiating power that Facebook has to take the 30% revenue share, at least vis a vis its bigger partners.
3) We will start to get some data on how big the Credits business is for Facebook, as a big proportion is essentially Zynga revenues multiplied by the percentage that Zynga is paying for its Facebook credits.
4) While selling virtual goods is surely highly profitable, what is the effect of the Credits revenue share on Zynga’s profit model? Is the business model so profitable that it can absorb a 30% cut?
5) Did the implementation of the Credits payment system in 2010 slow down Zynga’s growth, in terms of usage (perhaps because the increased costs were pass on to end customers in some way)?