Research group NPD has new stats that show online music piracy dropping dramatically after P2P music sharing website, LimeWire, was forced to close due to a lawsuit launched by major music labels.
In what appears to be a significant victory for the music industry, the number of people downloading pirated music online in Q4 2010 has dropped by more than 12 million users compared to the same period in 2007. Similarly, the number of tracks downloaded per person has dropped from 35 in 2007 to 18 in 2010.
While the closure of the most popular P2P music sharing service, LimeWire, definitely affected online piracy (LimeWire usage dropped, as a percentage of all download methods, from 56% in Q3 to 32% in Q4), it is conceivable that some of the decreases since 2007 may in fact be due to legal services such as iTunes, and also free listening services such as Spotify.
But the LimeWire effect, if there is any, may be short lived, as NPD stats also show a rise in the use of other downloading tools and methods, such as Frostwire and BitTorrent clients.
There's also no word from the RIAA in regards to actual revenue in the last quarter of 2010, whether revenue rose as a result of a lower number of pirated downloads.
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