The study shows that the percentage of users who obtained their music from a peer to peer (P2P) file sharing service has gone down to 9% (16 million people) in the 4th quarter of 2010 from 16% (28 million people) at the end of 2007. Coincidentally, LimeWire, a widely popular P2P file sharing program/service was shut down in the 4th quarter of 2010. The sutting down of the service was due to a judge’s ruling in favor of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America ) in a copyright infringement case.
The NPD also found that during the same stretch of time, those who still pirated music, pirated less music, with the average tracks pirate per person decreasing from 35 down to 18. Clearly, LimeWire accounted for a majority of music piracy, but not all. Some users have also switched to other means of P2P file sharing to pirate their music including: FrostWire and BitTorrent.
The closure of LimeWire had a wide sweeping effect on music pirates, as it had been popular for so long. The NPD Group says that it still remains to be seen if the closure actually will significantly decrease the amount of total music pirated, though, as there are still many other alternatives for people to turn to.
While many would like to pin the decreasing revenue on internet piracy alone, there are other factors that have played into it. There are simply more convenient ways for people to obtain their music, even legally, with services such as iTunes, VEVO, and Rhapsody. It just doesn’t make sense for someone to go out and buy a record when they can get the couple of songs they want for much cheaper without even getting up.
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