Neopets’ NC Mall to Open Next Week
Kyra Reppen of Neopets gave a presentation at the Virtual Goods Summit on MTV’s Neopets. Like other MTV presenters before her, she began her presentation with a video. Perhaps the most interesting part, though, was about the new NC Mall that Neopets will introduce in beta next week. It’s about customizing and self-expression. It’s complementary to the Neopoints economy, no exchange between the two. Themed items around Neopian events. Launching with PayPal. Why do we think this is going to work? Digital is real life for this audience. Technology is invisible. Emotional connection makes the pixels go away and it’s about these experiences. Virtual worlds and virtual economies are simply applications to achieve those four core goals: fun, self-expression, social needs, and control. Kids ages 6-14 have $60 billion in income. One important feature of NC Mall is try before you buy.
MTV acquired Neopets two years ago. It currently has more than 40 million registered users. There are 30,000 new accounts activated every day, on average. There are 11 million average monthly unique visitors. There are an average of 300 million monthly gameplays. The Neopoints economy, the audience says it’s like real life. Users have created 22 million shops to trade virtual items. There are 750,000 daily transactions. There are 250,000 Neopian millionaires and 6 billionaires.
2007 is a big evolution for us at Neopets. The events, Neopets has always had them, but this year for the first time, we’ve marketed that. Neopets grew purely on word of mouth, but this year we’re tapping into the MTV Networks marketing powerhouse, and just saw a great lift, over 20 percent lift in traffic. Also Neovision, our new broadband player. Audience is creating Neopets-themed videos. Mini-Show launches this Saturday on Nickelodeon, which marries Nick’s TV show expertise with Neopets’ world for short-form animation.
Advertising and sponsorhip has been our primary business model, but our goal now is to diversify that. We’re looking at premium subscriptions and will continue to experiment with that. Licensing, we’ve done some boutique merchandising, and that will continue. We have a deal with Harper Books, and we will soon announce retail toy and game partnerships.