IRN Research, a market research consultancy with a particular focus on the information industry, has released The European Online Information Market 2004, a report that highlights a 14% growth in the European online information market, primarily driven by more content migration to the Web. The European Online Information Market 2004 includes market sizes and forecasts, brand penetration data, an analysis of market trends, short profiles of key players, merger and acquisition activity, and results from research surveys of 60 UK corporate information professionals and 60 UK STM information professionals in academic institutions.
Overall, the European business information market (online, hard copy, and CD-ROM) is still registering only low single-digit annual growth and there are only modest signs of recovery in the first half of 2004. Soft market conditions remain in countries such as the UK and Germany but there has been stronger growth in Italy, Scandinavia, and some Central European countries. Total STM information sales in Europe have shown stronger sales trends with annual growth currently around the mid single-digit growth level.
Much of the increase is due to switching of existing spending from hard copy delivery to online delivery particularly in two sectors: scientific, technical and medical (STM) information; legal, tax, and regulatory (LTR) information, part of the business information segment. By the end of 2003, online sales were contributing an estimated 49% of all STM information sales in Europe and by mid-2004, this share is well above 50%. The overwhelming majority of sales of LTR information are still hard copy or CD-ROM sales but, in 2003, the first major steps were taken to increase the penetration of online sales. European sales growth in both sectors is lagging behind US and Asia growth and a real improvement is not expected until 2005, according to the report.
The European Online Information Market 2004, an annual report, is available in full directly from IRN Research for $1,100.