While mobile advertising remains a burgeoning business with billions of dollars in play, new data from Flurry suggests that the real money in mobile may be in-app purchases. The chart below tracks advertising revenue vs. revenue derived from the sale of virtual goods across iOS devices. Note that because Android still doesn’t support in-app purchases they’re out of the equation.
Apparently the demand for virtual swords, exclusive levels, and even respect points is great enough to attract millions of dollars from consumers. While those unfamiliar with social gaming (where in-app purchases are common) might scoff at the idea of paying for an app and then forking over more money in order to download more features, don’t estimate the purchasing power of nerds.