July 15, 2003, 12:00 AM

Threats have reduced file-sharing traffic, NetRatings reports

Traffic to popular file-sharing applications declined after the announcement by the Recording Industry Association of America that people who illegally download music could be sued or prosecuted, Nielsen/NetRatings reports.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Threats from the recorded music industry are reducing the number of illegal downloads of music from the Internet, says a new report from Nielsen/NetRatings.

Traffic to several popular file-sharing applications declined following the June 24 announcement by the Recording Industry Association of America that people who illegally downloaded music could be sued or prosecuted, Nielsen/NetRatings reports.

At-home traffic to KaZaA declined by 1 million unique visitors during the week ending July 6, a 15% drop one week after the announcement. Traffic also fell 15% at Morpheus.com, to 231,000 unique visitors, and 16% at iMesh, to 214,000.

"With the negative publicity and threat of steep fines, some surfers appear to be backing off," says Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst of Nielsen/NetRatings. "However, with millions of loyal users, these applications aren`t likely to go offline in the near future."

Another survey out today shows how music downloading has affected music sales. The NPD Group’s survey of online music users reports that 41% of 13- to 25-year-olds said their use of online file-sharing technology caused them to purchase fewer CDs.

 

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