Sunday, March 27, 2011

Limewire shutdown so significant, it changes users' behaviour in the past

Following the shutdown of Limewire, music industry research monkeys NPD were quick to claim a significant victory:

[T]he percentage of Internet users who download music via peer-to-peer services was at 9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, compared to 16 percent in the same period earlier in 2007
As Alan Wexelblat points out, that is pretty impressive, given that Limewire didn't shut down until, erm, the fourth quarter of 2010:
The claim, then, is that an event that happened in the last 3 months of a three year period somehow caused a retroactive drop? Either that violates causality as I understand it, or someone in the P2P industry has invented time travel and isn't sharing it. Or maybe, NPD is full of shit[...]
To cut NPD a small amount of slack here, they do admit that former LimeWire users are moving to other sharing networks. But really, this is just marketing puffery. NPD has no idea what caused the drop in self-reported file sharing over the past three years. Maybe it was that people thought it was an increasingly bad idea to admit that they used LimeWire to random marketers when there was a relentless stream of bad headlines about LimeWire.
It's possible that the drop was also caused by more people coming online, and those new users less interested in peer-to-peer filesharing and such pursuits, just wanting to watch video or make Skype calls to grandchildren.

Still, if the music industry really does believe the drop in figures are significant, it must be sucking a thoughtful tooth - a big drop in filesharing activity without actually having the need for an expensive, fractious court case. Money well spent.

[via Boing Boing]

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