Porn ‘will continue to dominate Web revenue’

Pornographic sites are expected to continue to outstrip mainstream content providers in the battle for revenues well into the new millennium, according to a report by market analysts Datamonitor.

A survey published this week shows that porn sites secured nearly 70 per cent of the estimated $1.4bn (£848m) online paid content market in the US and Western Europe last year. The figures exclude advertising and associated e-commerce revenues generated by Websites surveyed.

This year, the porn industry is expected to generate $1.39bn (£842m) of the $2.04bn (£1.24bn) market in paid-for online content, dwarfing the next most significant areas of games, sports, and music.

Despite the rapid growth in the market for more legitimate content, porn sites will continue to account for well over half the total revenues of the paid-for online market in 2003. By then, Datamonitor predicts the sector will be worth $5.3bn (£3.2bn).

US online publishers secured the lion’s share of paid-for revenues, winning $1.19bn (£721m) of the $1.4bn (£848m) market last year.

The UK, however, was well ahead of Germany and France in securing $92m (£55.7m) – or a seven per cent overall share – of the paid content market in 1998.

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