Internet filtering software is flourishing as a result of concerns about offensive Web sites, market research firm International Data (IDC) said on Wednesday, the final day of the three-day Internet/Online Summit: Focus on Children conference being held in Washington, D.C.
IDC estimates worldwide revenue for the 1997 Internet filtering software market will reach US$14.2 million by year-end.
"Regardless of First Amendment issues, Internet filtering products are fulfilling a requirement of both home users and corporate users to control Internet access," said Mary Wardley, program manager for IDC's consumer applications research, in a statement.
Four vendors -- Microsystems Software (recently acquired by The Learning Company), Net Nanny, Solid Oak, and Spyglass -- are competing for market leadership in the Internet filtering software arena, accounting for a combined total of 89% of the market, according to IDC.
Internet filtering software will experience a 75% compound annual growth rate, said IDC. Such growth will be driven by the expansion of former "home" oriented products into corporate Web sites to curb employee 'Net surfing at work; by the movement from stand-alone units to subscription sales-based models; and by a continued increase in Internet use, especially in schools, IDC predicted.