Why iTunes Won't Stop File Sharing

from the well,-duh... dept

The title of this one is pretty obvious, of course, but Apple is pitching iTunes as if it will get people to stop file sharing, but plenty of people are skeptical, including the folks at BigChampagne, who track file sharing usage. They say that iTunes downloads are a very tiny drop in the bucket compared to the among of music sharing on Kazaa. While Apple is hoping to sell 100 million songs on iTunes by next April, at any one time, there are an average of 700 million files being shared on Kazaa - with the majority of them being music. They describe things like iTunes as a "niche" or "premium" market. They don't say that it won't be successful, but all the rhetoric about it wiping out file sharing is just a lot of talk. Ever since iTunes launched, I've wondered what so special about it. While it does make getting legal downloadable music easier, it completely misses the benefits of music sharing across a distributed network (at both ends of the system). It's well designed and it's nice that it's there, but it's anything but revolutionary. The only way to stop file sharing from being a "problem" is to embrace it and figure out a way to use it to the industry's advantage, rather than fighting against it.

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  1. identicon
    Beck, 21 Oct 2003 @ 11:51am

    Different Markets

    This assumes that Apple and Kazaa are in competition for the same customers, but I don't think they are. In my opinion people are not choosing between downloading for free or buying the song. I think they are choosing between downloading for free or not obtaining the song at all.

    If Kazaa did not exist, how many people would buy the songs instead of downloading for free?

    To say that Apple is a niche player is to imply that all songs downloaded from Kazaa would have been purchased anyway. Apple has cornered the market, the market being people who are willing to pay for the ability to download music.

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