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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    Mike (profile), 21 Oct 2003 @ 12:00pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Ah, you miss the point.

    The point isn't that the industry needs to make the same amount of money it is today. The point is that, if they don't embrace file sharing, they won't be around to make any money in the future.

    The old way of doing business is dying, and if they stick by it, it's going to be swept out from under them. If they want to remain in business at all, they will need to embrace file sharing.

    You may think the lawsuits are working, but I think that's naive. If anything, it will just drive file sharing further underground, and will open up more opportunities for new companies that embrace file sharing to wipe out the old line companies.

    And, I honestly believe that by opening up the music, and getting MORE music out there to MORE customers, you actually do have a MUCH BIGGER opportunity to make much more money... just like going from the screen to video tape and DVD has allowed the industry to make much more money. Just because the current industry doesn't see the opportunity, doesn't mean it isn't there.

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