Frank N. Magid Associates and PlaySpan today announced the results of their study on virtual good purchases. 13 percent of the population (ages 12 to 64) bought a virtual item in the last year, with the mean and median of digital goods purchases both up 14 and 67 percent. The iPhone saw the most digital good purchases, followed by virtual worlds.

“There’s been a substantial increase in the number of consumers buying digital goods and an upward trend of players spending more on average than in the previous year,” said Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors. “With the proliferation of smartphone users, and players becoming more comfortable paying for items within virtual worlds and social networks, Magid believes there is a huge opportunity for developers and publishers to capitalize on this growing multi-billion dollar industry, especially as virtual credits and pre-paid payment options become more widely accepted.”

21 percent of those who bought virtual goods plan to spend more on them in the next year. Males were much more enthusiastic about virtual good purchases, with 31 percent of males ages 18 to 24 saying they have purchased a virtual good in the past 12 months.

“We’re on the upward curve of a huge growth industry with younger players leading the charge,” said Eric Hartness, Chief Marketing Officer of PlaySpan. “In addition to growth in online games and virtual worlds, the data shows, and our internal metrics corroborate, tremendous virtual goods purchasing behavior in social network games.”