Saturday, January 12, 2008

Internet business models: Scrabulous

I was reading this article in Fortune: Will someone please start a Facebook group to save Scrabulous?, about Hasbro trying to shutdown Scrabulous for copyright violations. I didn't find the intellectual property parts of the article that interesting, but this did catch my eye:

Their site launched in 2006 and quickly signed up 600,000 registered users. Not too shabby for a year’s worth of work. So the brothers launched a Facebook application in June, 2007 and the results were stunning: 2.3 million active users as of today. For those of you keeping score, the application generated 70 million pageviews in the past month. Not a bad deal for a two-man operation.

I don't know about you, but 2.3 million users and 70 million page views seems pretty impressive. With numbers like that you'd expect them to be making some serious cash. But no...

Jayant said that he didn’t exactly understand what all the fuss was about. Its ability to generate insane numbers of pageviews notwithstanding—he said some players play as many as 170 games at a time on Facebook—the application isn’t throwing off that much money. He declined to say exactly how much, pegging revenues at “over $25,000 a month.” Hmmmmm.

That's only $300k a year for 2.3 million users and 840,000,000 pageviews?

If you're thinking that you might strike it rich on the Internet you might want to think twice before you give up your day job.

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