The latest bout of futurology from Jupiter Research envisages a significant increase Europewide over the next four years in paid online content and services.

Jupiter predicts that around 9% of Europeans will purchase online content this year – mostly so-called ‘adult’ material – generating revenues of some €695m ($765.12m; £481m). User numbers will increase nearly two and a half times by 2007, accounting for 23% of all Europeans and generating revenues topping €2.9 billion.

At the same time, patterns of online consumer spending will change, the emphasis shifting from today’s ‘adult’ material to broadband-driven multimedia content such as games, music, video and audio. Multimedia, says Jupiter, will then represent 50% of paid content and porn just 25%.

Analyst Olivier Beauvillain believes that over the next two years, the market for paid content and services will be multi-faceted with buyers paying only small amounts in each of a wide variety of categories.

“To take advantage of this, while waiting for the rise of multi-media paid content,” says Beauvillain, “portals, internet services providers, and media companies must build flexible payment systems that favour a la carte consumer purchasing habits in addition to subscription models.

“This will enable [content providers] to gradually add new paid categories to their user base and ultimately increase paid online content and services revenues.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff