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US online paid content revenues top 2bn dollars

Annual US online paid content revenues jumped to an all-time high of $2bn, according to the US Online Publishers Association's (OPA) full-year 2005 Online Paid Content U.S. Market Spending Report.

The Report, which is conducted in partnership with ComScore Networks, showed an annual gain of 15 per cent on 2004 in online paid content revenue, along with a record high for the average amount being spent, with the average annual spending per consumer crossing the $100 threshold.

Growth is driven largely by purchases of digital music downloads. Consumers spent $573.8m in the Entertainment/Lifestyles category, marking a 38.8 per cent increase over 2004.

"While online consumer spending on entertainment is hot, the growth in online paid content is clearly widespread," said Pam Horan, OPA vice president of marketing & membership. "Multiple content categories, including Personals, Business and Research, saw significant revenue gains and contributed to the record high revenues."

According to the Report, eight of the 11 content categories saw revenue increases in 2005, while four categories (Entertainment/Lifestyles, Games, Personal Growth and Research) saw double-digit percentage gains. The largest gain was in the Entertainment/Lifestyles category, which jumped ahead of Personals/Dating to become the leading content category.

View the full 2005 Report

The information contained in the Report is based on actual observed purchases of content. ComScore Networks passively and electronically captured the actual purchase and usage transactions that took place during the analysis period within its representative panel of more than 1.5m US online consumers.

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