Though the United Kingdom has become perhaps Europe's most mature Internet market, opportunities for new business abound, according to two studies released last month.
A report commissioned by Mondex, a global provider of e-payments solutions, claims UK Web sites could generate an extra 14 million pounds Sterling ($20 million) a month by charging for information online.
A JupiterMMXI study sees potential in the 14 million British surfers, specifically in the 2.8 million who are heavy surfers, meaning they spend more than 10 hours a month online.
The Mondex survey, conducted among 1,000 UK households, found that more than half would pay for access to Internet searches, archived news material, music downloads, weather reports, timetables, directory assistance, horoscopes and financial advice.
Individual sums would be small — more than a pound (about $1.50), for example, for financial services, mobile airtime and games. Travel, music and Internet searches would generate about a dollar per session. But small amounts per session would add up quickly, the survey found.
Heavy users, Jupiter said, also would be a lucrative market if Web merchants used the Internet more effectively. Analyst Dan Stevenson targeted travel, classified ads, gambling and adult content.
Travel industry players already are attracting more customers through a range of incentives. Jupiter lists Ebookers, Easyjet and Ryanair as leaders in driving surfers to their sites and converting them into paying customers. The market could be worth 2.7 billion pounds
($3.86 billion) by 2005.
Though Jupiter does not put a figure on classified advertising, gambling and adult content, it said all three have potential for generating income from Web surfers.