BRUSSELS: Europe's "digital economy" could register growth of 18% a year until 2012 – lifting it to a value of $640 billion (€438bn; £348bn) – subject to online content providers and advertisers building consumer confidence on the web, predicts a report from management consultancy Booz & Co.

The study, commissioned by cable operator Liberty Global, said the European digital market's future growth will be focused on online content and advertising as broadband sales slow.

More specifically, content providers and advertisers need to win consumers' confidence, encouraging the uptake of new services and expenditure of more money online, rather than bombarding them with new technology and devices.

The measures necessary to establishing such "digital confidence" are said to include providing adequate protection mechanisms, restricting piracy and the theft of copyrighted material, and ensuring high-quality connections to the net.

According to the report, achieving this could result in the generation of a further $68 billion of revenues, while $115 billion could be lost if the market does not successfully adapt.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA) and Hollywood Reporter; additional content by WARC staff