New research from the NPD Group has found that the percentage of internet piracy has fallen from 16% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2007 to just 9% in 2010’s Q4. What could have caused such a major decrease in illegal downloading so suddenly? While it may be too soon to tell for sure, but it’s safe to believe that LimeWire’s death has play in it.
The NPD notes how LimeWire, who were order to cease their file-sharing operations this past October, was used by 56% of those using P2P services to download music in Q3 2010, while 32% still used the source up until the end of Q4. LimeWire’s file-sharing competition, such as Frostwire and u-Torrent, apparently haven’t come near picking up where LimeWire left off (at least not yet that is).
Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD, had the following to say about LimeWire’s absence and its meaning on their current findings:
“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. 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.”
While it’s nice to see that some the RIAA’s efforts are working (at least better than suing individual downloaders), it’s only a matter of time till people find a suitable substitute to LimeWire. And unfortunately, that substitute will most likely still come in the form of illegal downloading.