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Kids, Teens and Virtual Worlds

SEPTEMBER 25, 2007

It’s a virtual, virtual world after all.

The Walt Disney Company’s $350 million purchase of signals a new focus of attention for marketers and media companies targeting kids and teens online.

Virtual worlds are becoming more frequent destinations as the percentage of children and teens who use the Internet increases.

“For marketers trying reach kids and teens on sites, there is a new game in town: virtual worlds,” said Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Kids and Teens: Virtual Worlds Open New Universe.

“Of course, virtual worlds are not new, but the level of development activity, venture capital investment and consumer interest in is unprecedented,” she said.

Club Penguin is one of the fastest growing virtual worlds for young children. As of August 2007, it had 12 million registered users and 700,000 paid subscribers, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

According to eMarketer estimates, 41.5% of children ages 3 to 11 will use the Internet at least once a month in 2007. In total, 14.9 million children will go online in 2007, rising to an estimated 16.6 million in 2011. To finish reading the story.

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