Social games maker Zynga spends $6 million per month advertising on Facebook, a gossiper close to Facebook’s ad sales team tells us.
That would put Zynga’s annual spend at $72 million a year — almost a third of its — also rumoured — $250 million revenues.
The number floating for Zynga’s Facebook ad spend around till now was $50 million.
$72 million is also about 13% of Facebook’s 2009 revenues, expected to reach $550 million.
Reached, a Zynga spokesperson gave us the spiel about how private companies don’t have to disclose these kinds of numbers.
We’ve heard it suggested that Zynga’s large advertising budget means the virtual goods business isn’t sustainable.
Baloney! In a similarly hits driven business, the movie studios spend plenty of money marketing new releases.
The real threat to the fledgling social gaming industry is too much dependence on lead-generation scams, in which less-than-reputable companies offer to buy gamers virtual goods if they’ll sign up for “free trials” that don’t end up being free at all. (Learn more.)
Earlier this week, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus publicly apologized for his company’s involvement with those types of offers. He promised to ban them from the company’s games. Doing so could reduce Zynga’s revenues, its subsequent ad spend, and thereby Facebook’s ad revenues too. How much could Zynga’s Facebook spend go down? We don’t know and no one at Zynga will tell us. But our educated guess would be ~5%, or $3.6 million.