A 22 page report released by the Online Publishers Association states that online content purchases increased by 15% during 2005 over 2004, generating two billion dollars in revenue.
The big winners were the Entertainment/Lifestyles sites, where access to premium content fueled nearly $574 million in sales in 2005 (38.8% growth), overtaking Personals/Dating premium sites who were previously the top dogs of paid content.
Other sectors topping growth rates:
Personal growth +21.5%
Even with the increase in popularity of single purchase sales, such as music downloads, subscription content still accounts for most of the revenue; approximately 80%. Monthly subscriptions increased by 3.7% to account for 61.3% share of overall revenue.
Over 20 million Americans purchased online content during the last quarter of 2005 and the average spend was $103.54; up 4% on the previous year. So, not only do a lot of people in the USA now access paid content, but the average spend is nothing to be sneezed at either :)
Read the Paid online content report (pdf)
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