Paid online content spending reached $2 bln in 2005

Paid online content reached two notable milestones in 2005, with the average annual spending per consumer crossing the $100 threshold and total consumer spending online reaching an all time high of $2 bln during 2005, a 15% increase over 2004, Online Publishers Association reports. 8 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. Driven largely by purchases of digital music downloads, consumers spent $573.8 mln in the Entertainment/Lifestyles category, marking a 38.8% increase over 2004. Another important ripple effect of the digital music explosion is the strong growth in single payments. While subscriptions remain the dominant online content pricing model, revenue from single payments jumped 61% in 2005. Single payments now represent 22% of all online paid content.