'Hocus Pocus 2' Review Wi-Fi 6 Router With Built-In VPN Sleep Trackers Capital One Claim Deadline Watch Tesla AI Day Student Loan Forgiveness Best Meal Delivery Services Vitamins for Flu Season
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Music sales boost online spending

Song downloads hit a high note with consumers, pushing online spending up 14 percent from a year ago.

Online spending reached $1.8 billion in 2004, up 14 percent from a year ago, as music downloads hit a high note with consumers.

About 19 million U.S. consumers shelled out money for online content in the fourth quarter of 2004, up 2.6 million from the same period a year ago, according to a study released Thursday by the Online Publishers Association. The OPA worked with ComScore Networks on the survey.

The entertainment/lifestyles category, which includes paid music downloads, saw 90 percent year-over-year growth in 2004, growing from $217 million to $413 million in revenue, the study showed.

Contrary to some other recent reports, the study said sales of individual song tracks hit an all-time high in 2004. Indicating a shift away from subscription-based services, single purchases constituted 15 percent of total online content sales in 2004, compared with only 11 percent in 2003.

In terms of revenue, the online personals/dating category managed to stay at No. 1, with $470 million, but year-over-year growth reached only 4 percent.

Sports and games fared well, with 38 percent and 22 percent growth, respectively.

"The fact that entertainment/lifestyles, sports and games were by far the year's fastest-growing paid-content categories is further evidence that the Web is on its way to becoming a true entertainment medium for U.S. consumers," OPA President Michael Zimbalist said in a statement.

A few sectors witnessed a slump, however; the business/investment category, for instance, saw 2004 revenue drop to $313 million from $334 million in 2003.