RealTime IT News

Study: Napster Rampant Throughout Europe

GERMANY -- Regardless of the debate surrounding its continuing operation, Napster is accumulating a large international group of music-swapping fans, according to the latest results in the Digital Media Report from MMXI Europe, a Jupiter MMXI company.

In Germany in January 2001, the Napster application that powers the service achieved a rank of 25 with 1.23 million visitors and a coverage of 10.2 percent. This is the third highest distribution among the European countries. In Europe, Napster achieved its highest coverage in Spain, where it was visited by 21.6 percent of home Internet users and reached rank 13 on the Spanish charts last January.

Italy ranked second, where the exchange service had a coverage of 15.6 percent and reached rank 19 on the list of the most-used individual services. This made Napster even more popular in the southern European countries than it was in its American homeland, where it achieved a coverage of 14.1 percent among home users. Denmark was in fourth place with 7.8 percent, followed by France with 6.8 percent and, lastly, Great Britain with 5.2 percent. Napster was number one amongst applications in Germany, Spain, France and Italy; in Great Britain and Denmark, only the MSN Messenger Service and ICQ were more successful.

Among the online services with the highest duration rates (the average duration in minutes per month of use), Napster was in sixth place in Germany last January with 125 minutes, behind Ebay.de with 163 minutes. Just behind Napster was the financial supplier Diraba.de, which drew around 120 minutes of user time.

Thomas Pauschert, the head of MMXI Deutschland, says that the success of the Napster model in Europe can be traced back to the fact that a service specializing only in music can accumulate more user time than many services with a broader range of offers.

"On the Internet, such a strong focus generally serves as the ideal starting point for business with consumers," Pauschert said.

Mark Mulligan, an analyst with Jupiter MMXI who specializes in digital music, added, "With the threat that Napster could soon be shut down, it will now be a challenge for the music industry to coax users of such free services to instead use legal, chargeable channels in the future."