Friday, May 06, 2005

Content: a 111,3 billion euro business in W-Europe

At the beginning of this week I finished editing the online newsletter Content Market Monitor.
The Content Market Monitor (CMM) is a monthly newsletter on content and content-related technologies, started during the EU-funded ACTeN project (Anticipating Content Technology Needs). But although the project and the funding have contractually been terminated, I still run the newsletter with the help of:
- I.T.C. - Institute for Computers ( in Romenia, which is responsible for the ACTeN site deployment and CMS;
- Journalism department of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj (Romania), which is responsible for the content research;
- Electronic Media Reporting, my own company which is taking care of the editing.

One of the major articles was on the size of the content industry in terms of revenues. In the States the Optical Publishers' Association (OPA) is producing these figures already for some years. And although the figures do not incorporate all the content companies, the present members of OPA represent major publishing and broadcasting companies. The OPA initiative has been copied by the Europeans through an alliance of British, French and German publishers with a secretariate in Germany, but so far they have not publically been active, let alone publish figures about the content revenues in Europe.

So it was a welcome site to see that the European Information Tchnology Observatory (EITO) took the initiative to start collecting this type of figures. There had been some bickering for years within the European Commission, whether a special observatory should be set up for content. There was a study, but eventually the European Commission did decide not to set it up as a seprate institute. But with the help of the European Commission the EITO took care of it. This year they published their first results of a study EITO carried out with the research company Strategy Analysts.

So far EITO limited itself to Western Europe, which includes the European Union 15 countries, Norway and Switzerland, but EITO did come up with some interesting figures. The statistics have been published in the special section of content in the European Information Technology Observatory 2005.

The major conclusion was: The digital content market in Western Europe had a total of revenues of 111.3 billion euro. The Western European market is still dominated by offline products such as CD, CD-ROM and DVD. In fact online content is only good for 1,5 per cent of the revenues in digital content. The revenues of consumer and business online content are competing figures. The consumer revenues total 1.6 billion euro, while business content is good for 1,7 billion euro. Western European revenues for consumer online content will nearly double in 2005, reaching over €3bn and up to €16bn in 2008, says Mr Lamborghini, chairman of EITO predicts.

If you want to read the whole article in the Content Market Monitor go to the ACTeN site and select Content Market Monitor.

All in all, there is a good message: content is a real growth market in Europe, certainly when Eastern Europe is also taken into the figures. The bad message is that the EITO 2005 book and CD-ROM are scarcily available.