Web Content Purchasers Spend More Time, Money Online

NEW YORK Purchasers of paid content on the Web tend to be younger, more upscale and from smaller households than the overall Internet population, according to a recent study from the Online Publishers Association.

The research, based on first-quarter data collected by comScore Networks, also revealed that those who pay for online content generally spend more time and shop more on the Web.

Nearly 25 percent of online paid content consumers have household incomes of $100,000 or more versus only 21 percent of Web surfers overall, the study found. In addition, nearly half of Web content consumers belong to households headed by 25- to 44-year-olds, whereas 44 percent of this age group comprises the entire Internet audience.

One- and two-person households, according to the study, make 45 percent of online content purchases; comparatively, these small households represent 40 percent of total Internet users.

The report—the first demographic and usage analysis commissioned by the OPA—also showed that paid content consumers visit more than twice the number of Web pages than the average Internet user and spend more than twice as much time online. They also are 14 percent more likely than the average user to have broadband access.

In the first quarter, paid content purchasers, on average, engaged in 3.1 e-commerce transactions, allocating an average of $235 to online purchases, excluding auctions. Paid content purchasers spent 33 percent more on apparel and accessories than the average e-commerce buyer; 14 percent more on consumer electronics; 16 percent more on home and garden; 27 percent more on flowers and gifts; and 11 percent more on music.

Earlier this week, the OPA released figures on online content spending. Consumer spending for online content in the U.S. reached $748 million in the first half, up 23 percent versus the year-ago period, according to the report [IQ Daily Briefing, Sept. 23].