Feeds

Napster boosts music sales – survey

Napster will kill software industry - Microsoft

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Napster users are more likely to buy CDs than people who don't use the MP3 sharing software, a report from Internet-oriented market researcher Jupiter Communications claims.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) isn't going to like that one, guys. It will, however, love comments from Microsoft's Jack Krumholtz, director of the company's federal affairs and associate general counsel, who yesterday told a US Congressional committee that Napster is a threat not only to the music industry but the wider software business, too.

Jupiter's take on the case is essentially that "Napster users are music enthusiasts, [so] it's logical to believe that they are more likely... to increase their music spending in the future," company analyst Aram Sinnreich told Reuters.

The company's survey of users found that many claimed that sampling music by downloading songs via Napster resulted in their buying more CDs.

Mind you, that's exactly what you'd expect them to say, whether they do buy more CDs or not. However, with music sales rising last year by around eight per cent, it's hard to gainsay Jupiter's findings. The RIAA, however, will just point to its own surveys that show the opposite - that CD sales from stores around US universities have fallen off (this despite the fact that the data was collected before Napster's launch).

The real test will come next year, when music sales from a time after Napster was launched have been collated and published. Even then it's going to be hard to extract from the data a true picture of the Napster effect.

Microsoft's Krumholtz believes the news will be bad. "We've seen our software on Napster [we assume Jack actually means Gnutella here, since Napster only swaps MP3s, either that or he means the Wrapster hack] and we anticipate this trend to continue," he told the House Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade.

Later, speaking to Computer Reseller News US, Krumholtz said: "We're beginning to see software programs shared and traded over Napster. It's not to the degree that we see music shared because music files are a lot smaller. But as broadband technology comes in and more and more people have access to a broader pipe, I think you're going to see all forms of digital content shared over technology like Napster. So it becomes a significant concern."

Krumholtz' solution is more action from government, particularly when it comes to funding anti-piracy agencies. Kind of ironic, that, given Microsoft's attempts to get the Department of Justice anti-trust division's budget cut, but Microsoft has never been a 'you scratch our back, we scratch your' kind of company.

Whatever, Krumholtz' point - and that of the Business Software Alliance on whose behalf he was speaking to the Subcommittee - is that software like Gnutella and Napster will have a profound effect on software piracy if nothing is done about it now.

Unlike Napster's music enthusiasts (if Jupiter's research is to be believed), software users are not likely to buy the real thing having downloaded a working version for free. But are they likely to download hundreds of megabytes of data at a time? If the response to multi-megabyte Quake III demos and Windows Service Packs are anything to go by, the answer is yes.

Which is, of course, why Microsoft reckons its 'download and rent' software sales model will work. Ahem. ®

Related Stories

RIAA dubs Napster defence 'patently baseless'
Napster details copyright case defence
RIAA counter-sues pernickety Web site over MP3 links
Napster tries to talk its way out of RIAA suit
DoJ's top gun from MS trial joins Napster defence

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?