Micropayments look small, but are stacking up

pocket changeA new study by ABI research estimates that the combined revenues of console micropayments will total more than $833 million by 2011. While $833M is a hefty pocket of change, that's really all it is; pocket change. Consider that software sales alone generated $6.5 billion just last year. So by ABI's calculations, four years from now, total micropayment transactions will have grossed less than 13% of one year's worth of software sales.

Still, micropayment revenue is almost pure profit (split between distributors, publishers, and developers). The content is inexpensive to produce, and is often created pre-release (heck, EA's basically been selling "cheat codes"). So while micropayment revenue might look insignificant compared to software sales, the mechanism is still pulling the change out of our pockets (which adds up) and dropping it into the industry's hands. The exchange is quick and cheap, and likely to make a few company heads even more obscenely rich over the next four years.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.