Jupiter Media Metrix estimated that consumers will spend some $5.8 billion on
online content by 2006, up from $1.4 billion in 2002.
By category, Jupiter expects general content revenue to reach $2.3 billion,
online games $1.8 billion and digital music $1.7 billion.
But it's clear that content providers and broadband operators have a big
sales job ahead of them. Some 70 percent of consumers in an associated survey by
Jupiter couldn't understand why they would ever pay for any content online.
In fact, the number who thought they'd have to eventually pay for content
dropped from 45 percent in August 2000 to 42 percent in March 2002.
'The mass market still largely shuns anything that smells like a subscription
service,' Jupiter vice president David Card said in a prepared statement.
Card said that widely held perception won't prevent media companies from
introducing subscription services, and 'they must use the gradual U.S. broadband
transition to reset industry ground rules and recondition consumer
Meanwhile, Jupiter believes media companies are benefiting from the Internet
fallout, as competitors that had given content away free-of-charge are no longer
'The online future is beginning to look a lot like cable TV,' Card said.
'Established portals will emerge as networks that aggregate premium content and
services in packages.'