Kazaa Still Going Strong?

There are some stats floating about the net at the moment suggesting that Kazaa is losing ground to rival networks such as eDonkey in terms of users. To be honest I am surprised that Kazaa has retained such a dominant position for so long and I assume that much of this can be attributed to inertia i.e. relatively technologically unsophisticated users who simply don’t know how to uninstall Kazza. In fact even very technologically literate people find it a huge challenge to uninstall most of the spyware that comes bundled with Kazaa. And therein lies Kazaa’s nemesis: itself. Not the music industry’s law suits, not the success of legitimate music services, not bogus files or spoofing, but Sharman Networks’ overwhelming commercial greed that drove them to turn Kazaa into a cynical and highly devious revenue generating tool. That’s why the lions’ share of people who stop using Kazaa do so, and hence jump onto other networks. They also feel safe there due to the dominance of Kazaa users in the lists of RIAA suits. The IFPI learnt the lessons and spread their net across all major networks.

All this is not to say legal action, legitimate service success etc etc won’t work. They will, but it will be a gradual process. It’s going to be the sort of progress you measure in years, not in months. Our latest European consumer survey at JupiterResearch (which is available to Jupiter clients) shows a marginal average decrease across major markets but significant increases in markets such as Spain and Italy. Of course it is too soon to gauge what impact legal activity is having, but my guess is that if and when I post on the same topic this time next year, illegal file sharing will be far from just a bad memory.

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