Tuesday, 23 February 2010
I've done a research on Stardoll some time ago and saved it in my starblog. Knowing that 99% of members don't know anything about Stardoll behind the website, I decided to post my research here, on our blog. Here it goes:
Since most of us don't know alot about stardoll, I've made a little research over the past few days. Yes, it's a site for young people, interested in fashion, but what about the people that run it? How did it become so popular?
Well, the founder was a 50-years old woman from Sweden. She started with an account on some other site. She and her son then upgraded it into this whole new site, called Paperdoll Heaven - it was first launched April 3, 2002. It quickly became popular because of targeting girls from 9 to 17 that don't have any other interesting sites to join. They then united with some dude, called Mattias Miksche from Index Ventures (he became CEO and put in a 4 million dollar investment in 2006, I believe that's when Stardoll became a money-maker). Sequoia also made a 6 million dollar investment in that same year. So now, with 10 million on board, they needed to make some money fast, right? To get the invested money back quickly. How?
"They currently sell between 60,000 to 180,000 items per day."
After that, the number of Stardoll's offices started growing - they made a new office in North America, LA to be exact. They then hired Matt Palmer from Disney to lead the American Stardoll. Why?
"30% of traffic comes from the United States vs. 50-52% from the European Union." - May 2007
"Today, 51% of Stardoll traffic is from Europe, 40% from the Americas and the remaining 9% originates from Asia-Pacific." - March 2009
Yes, Stardoll is spreading all over the world.
Stardoll had numerous problems with the law. They make celeb dolls that usually aren't permitted by the celeb itself. Some critics have expressed concerns with the commercial aspect. Another issue at first was collecting information from kids under 13 (but that got fixed by the introduction of Parental Consent).
In March 2009, they merged with Piczo and launched Paperdollheaven.com. Those and Stardoll formed the foundation of the Stardoll Network, which targets reaching a combined total of more than 20 million people per month.
Stardoll claims that "All activities on the site are completely free." All activities? Are you sure? Cause as far as I know, more than half of all things on SD are superstar. I've counted all the Starplaza clothes and here's the results: 1016 superstar items and 822 non-superstar items (Basics, Star Sparkles, Star Beauty and Celebotique not included)
"Ninety percent of the users are 10 to 15 years old, and more than 90 percent are girls."
If we consider that almost all users are not smart enough to know whether or not they should spend this amount of money on Stardoll, it's a complete scam.
Now we'll do some maths. Let's say that out of 48 million members, there's 5% superstar (you know there's more, but let's say it's 5). The amount of money Stardoll gets monthly is 362,5 million dollars. If we divide it by 20 people that work at the Stardoll office, each person gets 18,1 million. MONTHLY. Makes you think doesn't it?