Port Washington, N.Y. – Since last October, when
peer-to-peer file-sharing service LimeWire shuttered its service after a
federal court found the company liable for copyright infringement, the number
of U.S. file-swappers has dropped "precipitously," according to a
report from market research firm NPD Group. The percentage of online Americans
who said they use a file-sharing service to download music has fallen from a
high of 16% in late 2007, to 9% in late 2010, when LimeWire shut down.

average number of files downloaded from file-sharing networks also dropped,
from 35 tracks per person in late 2007, to 18 tracks in late 2010.

NPD notes
that 56% of file-swappers reported using LimeWire in the third quarter of 2010,
but this figure fell to 32% in the fourth quarter, as the service shuttered in

Following LimeWire’s closure, NPD also saw upticks in the number of
users of other file-sharing services, including Frostwire and µTorrent.


"Limewire was so popular for music file trading, and
for so long, that its closure has had a powerful and immediate effect on the
number of people downloading music files from peer-to-peer services and
curtailed the amount being swapped," said NPD analyst Russ Crupnick.

"In the past, we’ve noted that hard-core peer-to-peer users would quickly
move to other Web sites that offered illegal music file sharing. It will be
interesting to see if services like Frostwire and Bittorrent take up the slack
left by Limewire, or if peer-to-peer music downloaders instead move on to other
modes of acquiring or listening to music."


Related Links:
(DMW previous coverage)