The European market for domestic online services will skyrocket over the next five years, according to a new report from consultancy Datamonitor.
Consumer online revenues in Europe are set to grow ninefold from $1.5 billion in 1997 to $13.7 billion in 2000, say the consultants. Although the bulk of this growth will come from an increase in access charges, increasing amounts will start to come from a variety of content-based services.
According to Datamonitor, online games and home shopping are taking off already. Networked multiplayer games, which support large numbers of users, have become a key selling point for online service providers. Although the total European Internet shopping market in 2001 will remain small compared to the mail order market, users of online shopping services are expected to be more affluent.
The report also revealed some startling variations between subscription charges and pricing plans available in different European countries and from different major online service providers. The level of competition and the socio-economic situation in each of the regional markets has a substantial impact on monthly subscription charges. The UK's domestic online subscriptions are five per cent below the average for western Europe, typically $26 per month. Austria's are the most expensive at $45 per month and Italy the cheapest at $13 per month.
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