Spending on online content reached $1.8 bln in 2004, up 14%

Web users spent $413.5 mln on online entertainment and lifestyle content in 2004, nearly double the $217.6 mln spent in 2003, according to an Online Publishers Association. Consumer spending on online entertainment fell 6% in 2003 compared to 2002. Overall, spending on online content reached $1.8 bln in 2004, a 14% increase from 2003. Spending on sports grew by 38%, to $52.8 mln, while spending on games rose 21.8%, to $88.8 mln. Consumers spent $27.1 mln on credit reports and financial sites last year, down 26% from 2003. Spending on community-made directories (such as IMDB.com or Classmates.com) fell to $70.5 mln, down 19% from 2003. Consumers spent less on business and investment news sites, such as WSJ.com, which saw a decline of 6% to $312.9 mln. Spending for general news sites, such as NYTimes.com, came to $87.9 mln, nearly flat from 2003 $87.5 mln.