P2P Downloading on Decline

NPD attributes the decline in P2P downloading to the shuttering of LimeWire.

According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company, the percentage of internet users downloading music from P2P file-sharing services has fallen from a high of 16 percent in Q4 of 2007, to 9 percent in Q4 2010.

While illegal downloading of this kind is on the decline, it is far from eradicated. NPD estimates there were 16 million P2P users downloading music in Q4 2010. This is down from 28 million in Q4 2007.

NPD believes the recent decrease in usage coincides with the October 2010 shuttering of LimeWire after a federal judge found the peer-to-peer service liable for copyright infringement.

According to NPD’s “Music Acquisition Monitor,” LimeWire was used by 56 percent of those using P2P services to download music in Q3 2010, shortly before it closed.

Since Limewire went offline, illegal downloading from Frostwire and u-Torrent has increased.

This information is from NPD’s “Music Acquisition Monitor” based on online surveys of U.S. consumers age 13 and older, which were conducted in January 2011. The final reporting is based on 5,549 completed surveys.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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