According to a report released by the Online Publishers Association, about 1,700 U.S. non-pornographic Web sites are charging for online content, with 50 of those sites collecting 85% of all the revenue.
During the first quarter of this year, U.S. consumers paid $300 million to access Web site content, a 155% increase over the first quarter of 2001, according to the OPA report.
The OPA is a trade organization formed in 2001 by major online publishing companies including New York Times Digital, the Wall Street Journal Online, USAToday.com, MSNBC.com, Conde Net and ESPN.com.
Based on a study conducted by comScore Networks, the report concludes that 59% of all payment to access online content went to Web sites in the business content, entertainment and personals/dating categories.
The OPA/comScore study determined that U.S. consumers spent $675 million to access non-pornographic content during 2001, a 92% increase over what was spent for content access in 2001.
Researchers found that subscriptions are the payment model most favoured by those consumers who agree to pay for content. Only 15% of all paid content accessed in 2001 was for single purchases. The study also said that on average consumers who accessed for-pay content during the first quarter of this year increased their online purchases by 46% from the comparable period of 2001.
According to the report, following were the top 25 for-fee Web sites visited by consumers in 2001: