The Internet is making people money, according to a new report The Provision of Consumer On-line and Internet Services across Europe - Challenges for the next millennium, by management consultancy Datamonitor. The report's findings also show an upward trend in consumer on-line revenues which are expected to grow from $1.5 billion (u909 million) to $13.7 billion between 1997 and 2001.
Currently, European Internet and on-line access is worth $79 million per month and is growing by between 2% and 12% per year, depending on the region. But it's not just ISPs and access providers who are making money from the net; companies are cashing in on a variety of content-based services, particularly games and home shopping companies. According to Datamonitor's report, it is these three principal revenue sources that will be worth $13.7 billion by 2001.
On-line shopping remains much smaller than current mail order systems but is gaining momentum. A distinction was drawn between the type of individual who shops on-line and the traditional mail order customer, with on-line shoppers being more affluent than those who use mail order.
Datamonitor also revealed enormous differences in how much people are being charged to stay on-line. The UK was found to have the fourth cheapest access costs, with Italy the cheapest at about $13 a month. Most expensive was in Austria, where monthly charges are as high as $45 a month.
The level of taxation and the cost of employment also explain some deviations in the subscription charges between countries. Austria, for example charges 25% VAT on Internet access, compared with Italy's 6.5%
The survey is available, priced u1,995 from Datamonitor on 0171 625 8548.
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