Jupiter: Napster rivals' rise is bad news for labels

Occupied and knocked offline by legal battles, Napster is rapidly losing users who are seeking their free song-swapping fix wherever they can find it, according to a report released Friday by Jupiter Media Metrix.

While this is bad news for Napster, it could be even worse news for the record labels. This fragmentation of users across different song-swapping applications will only make record labels' attempts to litigate copyright infringements more difficult, the technology research company noted.

With the splintering of market share it will be "very difficult, if not impossible, to litigate against (copyright infringement) in the same way," Jupiter Vice President and Senior Analyst Mark Mooradian stated in the report.

Ironically, the fact that users are abandoning Napster might lead to consumers getting what they want - free music.

According to Jupiter, the amount of time spent on battle-weary Napster plummeted 65 per cent from February to June of this year.

While users spent 6.3 billion minutes on Napster in February, when the site was at its heyday, that number dwindled to just 2.2 million minutes in June, Jupiter reported. Meanwhile, the site's unique users dropped 31 per cent over the same period, from 26.4 million to 18.3 million.

Jupiter's findings took into account home users in 14 leading wired countries, comprising more than 85 per cent of the Internet-using population worldwide. The 14 wired nations surveyed were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

In the US alone, however, where Napster has the largest audience, Jupiter found that time spent on the site dropped 70 per cent from February to June, spiralling from 3.9 billion minutes to 1.1 billion minutes.

While Napster has languished as the company has been wrestling with record labels over the protection of copyright music , a band of file-sharing usurpers have gained ground, including five newcomers that have appeared since January.

Contenders Bodetella, Audiogalaxy's Audiogalaxy Satellite, iMesh.com, Inc., Lime Wire, Free Peer's BearShare and thirty4interactive's Napigator have been given a boost by Napster's demise, Jupiter said.

The two most popular Napster rivals are Bodetella, a client designed for the file-sharing network Gnutella, and Audiogalaxy, according to Jupiter.

Bodetella maintained its 1 million unique users between January and May while Audiogalaxy boasted 978,000 unique visitors in May, a 78 per cent increase from March.

If Jupiter's report is any indication, users may find that the more they spread out on the Web, the longer free music-swapping will survive.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scarlet Pruitt

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?