Personals, Entertainment Drive Online Spending
The entertainment/lifestyles category includes online music sales, which suggests that purchasing and legally downloading music is becoming a mainstay of e-business. This is particularly interesting as more consumers enter in the market for downloading movies and other media, as well as for podcasting. Single-payment spending online increased by nearly 5%, indicating that consumers would rather pay for individual purchases rather than subscribe to a service.
As for the personals/dating category, it remains strong but appears to be plateauing. JupiterResearch expects personals and dating sites to see a 9% growth in revenue this year -- respectable, but nothing like the 70%+ growth they enjoyed in 2002 and 2003.
The OPA survey is not comprehensive of all e-business activity, and does not include revenues from sites marketing adult content, gambling and illegal products and services. Neither does it measure revenues from ISPs or Internet business services.