OPINION: Digital Content at Retail

InComm Europe has done the impossible: bridged the gap between digital content and physical retail. European product and marketing director Simon Osgood explains how the High Street is taking the next step…

The focus and key buzz this past year is digital – and this is reflected in the discussions and presentations at LGC this year.It can be said with conviction that 2010/11 was a year of tremendous growth for prepaid within the gaming market with significant publishers and console companies coming into the market.

This can be said too of retail, with both GAME and GameStop fully behind and stocking POSA (point of sale activated) products and services. The aforementioned specialist market really have something to shout about now with significant ranges and products supporting their key top line messages. They are embracing every aspect of digital content.

A notable recent highlight is GameStop using physical TV in store to allow consumers the ability to scan cards and view video clips of the card they wish to purchase. This has given more interaction at store level, encouraged an assisted sale purchase and broadened consumer shopping behaviour. This is great for the ‘floating’ shopper and gamer, and a sign of things to come. It is the first example of this type of activity within Europe.

GAME have launched in beta their GAMEwallet, powered by InComm. This is one of the very first prepaid programs which allows loyalty to sit alongside prepayment. GAME now allow their reward card holders the ability to use their ‘reward points’ to access a selection of compelling online games and also allow the consumer to ‘top up’ using prepaid cards sold within their stores.

Games featured include Bin Weevils and Runescape to name just a couple, and also illustrates the variety GAME plan to provide to their loyal shoppers through this scheme.

In other areas, we have seen the market for gamers under ten years old flourish in 2010/11, with partners such as Disney Club Penguin, Bin Weevils and Moshi Monsters. Prepaid cards have played a crucial role in securing digital revenue for the traditional retailer and I can see more partners entering this space to captivate this audience.

This can only be good for the general industry as we are now seeing a younger entry into gaming and with the development of devises a much easier way for all to monetise from this motivated and content keen type of consumer.In summary InComm sit as an agnostic partner within the industry but truly believe the future is bright for retailers, MMOs and publishers. We believe there is a harmony between all parties to drive revenue and have very practical experience of demonstrating this.

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