Study Links Napster To Decreased Music Purchase
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NEW STUDY LINKS NAPSTER, DECREASED MUSIC PURCHASE
by Peter Cohen, pcohen@...
October 31, 2000
Market research firm PC Data has announced the result of an ongoing study of
the buying habits of music users with Internet access. The study suggests
that there's a definite link between the usage of Napster-like file sharing
services and music piracy. PC Data says that as users get more adept at
using Napster, the less likely they are to buy music on CD.
The information used for the study has been culled from PC Data Online's
buying meter, which tracks the purchasing behavior of 120,000 US home
Internet users. The study finds that new Napster users are just as likely to
purchase music through online music retailer cdnow.com, but 90 days after
downloading Napster, online audio CD purchases drop sharply, even though
visits to online music retailers actually increases in frequency.
PC Data CEO Ann Stephens says that Napster users are visiting online
retailers to get information about music they're interested in, then use
Napster to grab the files for free.
"Portable MP3 players and recordable CD-ROMs are simply too easy and too
cost efficient not to use," adds Stephens.
PC Data says the problem is particularly prominent for music that appeals to
a younger audience -- popular artists like Eminem, Three Doors Down and Limp
Bizkit are hardest hit.
A table offered by PC Data illustrates the phenomenon:
Duration of Napster Usage | Visiting CDNow | Buying at CDNow
Month Prior to Using Napster 10.4% 8.3%
1st Month Using Napster 25.6% 8.4%
2nd Month Using Napster 24.8% 8.9%
3rd Month Using Napster 20.0% 5.7%
4th Month Using Napster 18.5% 5.5%
PC Data further suggests that the increasing number of Napster users is
likely to add to the problem -- Napster's user base has more than doubled
over the past six months to 18.7 million users, says PC Data. PC Data's
analysis of Napster and Napster-like file sharing services continues; the
company plans to analyze the actual dollar impact of such services in the
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