According to the latest "Online Paid Content U.S. Market Spending Report,"
from the Online
Publishers Association, publsihed by comScore Media Metrix, the average consumer spent more than
$100 last year on online content, creating a $2 billion market in 2005. Great stats.

"All signs point to very strong and steady growth for paid online content,"
said Pam Horan of the OPA. "In each of the last five years, we’ve seen record
revenues and record numbers of consumers paying for content. With only 12% of
the total Web population purchasing online content, an enormous opportunity for
growth continues to exist."

Spending on entertainment and lifestyle content grew to $574 million, up from
$413 in 2004, and surpassing spending in all other categories, including dating,
which was the former leading category. Spending for online personals and dating
did reach $503 million, up from $469.5 million in 2004.

The top three categories — entertainment/lifestyles, personals/dating and
business content/investment — accounted for slightly over two-thirds (68%) of
all online content spending.

The 2005 growth rate for the entertainment/lifestyles category, 38.8%, was
the highest year-on-year percentage increase for all categories but most also
posted gains.

On the other hand, sports content experienced a surprising 2.7% decline in
2005 after a strong increase of 38% in 2004. Community directory content
revenues also fell (by 7.3%). General news content experienced the largest fall
in revenue, decreasing by 10.5%.

Looking at the overall growth rate for content by category from 2001 to 2005,
all but one category — credit help — grew. In fact, the greeting card category
grew by over 2,000%.

Driven by single music download buys, single purchase sales hit a record high
of $442.2 million in 2005, up 61% from 2004. Yet, even with the growing
popularity of single purchase sales, subscriptions easily remained the dominant
pricing model, accounting for roughly four-fifths of total online content
spending

More here.