[Inside] Napster Usage Has Quadrupled in Six Months

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From: Adam Rifkin (Adam@KnowNow.Com)
Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 11:41:02 PDT

Just so we have some hard numbers to go by:


Here's a Scooby Snack for you, Rohit: "3 percent of the 26.9 million
Web-enabled PC users at work took advantage of their employer's faster
Internet connections to trade MP3s - all on the boss's dime."

What a Time It Was: Napster Use Has Quadrupled in the Last 6 Months
By Leslie Marable, Monday , September 11 12:34 a.m.

Even with its fate unknown, Napster's usage in the United States has
continued to escalate -- quadrupling in just six months, according to
digital research firm Media Metrix.

An analysis released Monday morning reveals that at-home unique users of
the music file-swapping application -- the unduplicated number of people
who use Napster once in a given month -- had reached 4.9 million in July,
the most recent period with data available. While seemingly each month has
been a publicity bonanza for Napster, July was a notable one for the
company; it was in July that a federal judge ordered the site shut down
only to have a federal appeals court panel grant a reprieve 48 hours later.

The July results represent a monstrous 345 percent increase from the 1.1
million unique users in February, when Media Metrix began tracking
Napster's application users (see charts below). The shocking translation:
the freeware created by Shawn Fanning while he was a college freshman in
January 1999 is now being used by more than 6 percent of the approximately
80 million at-home PC users with online access in the U.S. The number of
multimedia players in use inched up 4 percent over the same period to 37.5
million, which suggests RealNetworks's RealPlayer and Microsoft's Windows
Media Player, among others, benefited from Napster's ascent.

The Media Metrix numbers track Napster's growth month by month.

In February, there were 1,109,000 unique users (roughly 1.5 percent of all
PC users with Internet access at-home) of Napster, a notable total given
that the program had already been banned by a number of universities.

By May, unique users of Napster's downloadable application had ballooned by
185 percent to 3,166,000 (representing at that time a 4 percent share of
all Web-enabled PC users at home). This was a time, you will remember, when
rapper Chuck D made news by trading in his MTV call letters for a new set
of them -- C-SPAN. (The public affairs network recorded his testimony
before a congressional committee during its Internet music piracy hearings;
two months later, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, followed suit.)

 From May to June, there was a 48 percent increase in the amount of people
sampling the file-sharing site, to 4,670,000 unique users, coinciding with
Metallica's on-going anti-Napster crusade and the filing of a motion for a
preliminary injunction against Napster by the RIA. Likewise, Napster's
usage among the 77.6 million at-home PC users with online access broadened,
its market share having cracked the 6 percent mark.

And the Media Metrix numbers show that homebodies aren't the only ones
swapping music online. The number of music lovers using Napster at the
office has more than doubled in last three months -- 887,000 unique users
in July from 417,000 users in May (the first month for which reportable
data was available). That means about 3 percent of the 26.9 million
Web-enabled PC users at work took advantage of their employer's faster
Internet connections to trade MP3s - all on the boss's dime.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco could rule on Napster's legality
as soon as next month.


Experience from HTTP (including the HTTP Extension Framework) and HTML has shown how difficult it is to retrofit support for evolvability into an existing solution and the importance of providing this feature as an integral part of the initial infrastructure. -- http://www.w3.org/2000/09/XML-Protocol-Charter.html (thanks for pointing this out, Dave, those of us too poor to afford W3C memberships have no way besides word-of-mouth to find this stuff out...)

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