July 20, 2001, 12:00 AM

Napster’s fall is other music file-sharing sites’ gain, Jupiter says

Time spent using Napster plummeted 65% among home users in 14 countries, from 6.3 billion minutes in February 2001 to 2.2 billion in June 2001, says Jupiter Media Metrix.


Total time spent using the Napster file-sharing application plummeted 65% among home users in 14 leading wired countries, from 6.3 billion minutes in February 2001, Napster`s peak month in terms of both time and unique users, to 2.2 billion minutes in June 2001, according to researchers Jupiter Media Metrix.

Unique users of the application dropped 31%, from 26.4 million to 18.3 million over the same period, Jupiter said.

But, Jupiter reports, that while Napster usage has plunged globally, several new file-sharing alternatives are growing. In May 2001, six file-sharing applications other than Napster appeared in the Media Metrix U.S. reports, up from five in March 2001 and from one in January 2001.

Bodetella held steady at around 1 million unique users between January 2001 and May. Audiogalaxy, the second most popular file-sharing application, had 978,000 unique visitors in May 2001, up 78% from March 2001, the first month it was reportable. Next was Imesh with 474,000 unique visitors, up 11% from April 2001, its first reportable month.

"Last year Napster became one of the fastest growing software applications Media Metrix ever reported, with its U.S. user base nearly quadrupling within six months of the application`s debut into the ratings reports," said Doug McFarland, president, Media Metrix, the online ratings unit of Jupiter Media Metrix. "Today, the Media Metrix ratings show a wide scattering of the former Napster audience to various other music file-sharing resources."


"The time the Napster litigation bought the labels has run out and the grim reality is that Napster`s audience is beginning to be fragmented across many services, which will be very difficult, if not impossible, to litigate against in the same way," said Mark Mooradian, vice president and senior analyst, Jupiter Media Metrix. "The next generation of underground file sharing services underscores the need for legitimate music providers, and not just the major labels, to act promptly, putting battles over platforms and copyrights behind them as soon as possible."



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