Number of Paying Consumers Nearly Doubles

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NEW YORK ( -- The market for paid Web content for the third quarter jumped 105% over the same period last year, according to a report from the Online Publishers Association.

Online personals and dating services was the most popular category for paid Web content, overtaking the business/investment and entertainment/lifestyles segments.

$361.4 million spent
Overall, consumers spent $361.4 million in the third quarter, up 14% from the previous quarter and a 105.3% gain over the third quarter 2001.

The research was conducted by comScore Networks.

The report also found that U.S. consumers spent $975 million on paid online content for the first three quarters of 2002, compared to $670 million for all of 2001.

14.8 million paying consumers
The OPA/comScore report also found that the number of consumers paying for online content in the third quarter almost doubled to 14.8 million from 7.9 million from the year-ago period. More than 1 in 10 online consumers are paying for some form of content online.

The personals realm raked in $87 million in revenues for the third quarter, more than any other segment of online paid content, for a 387% gain over the same period in 2001. Spending in other content areas, among them financial, entertainment and news, grew more than 100% in the thrid quarter vs. the year-ago period.

Personals/dating, business/investment and entertainment/lifestyles account for 62% of all paid content revenue year-to-date in 2002.

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