File Sharers Find Other Avenues

    March 25, 2005

A recent study discovered 27% of the Internet population has turned to other methods besides the traditional peer-2-peer programs with which to share files.

The Pew Internet And American Life Project conducted a poll with 1,421 adult Internet users, asking what file sharing methods they used. The study determined that those looking to share files have started turning to other, less legal ramification-bearing methods with which to do so.

The survey also discovered 28% of the respondents (factors out to 28 million Internet users) have received files, either music of movie-related, through various instant message clients.

Other results discovered by the survey include findings about the use of paid download services like iTunes. Fear of legal recourse has caused an exponential increase of users who prefer paid download services. This goes hand in hand with another finding, which determined the amount of people who use p2p services has decreased 17% since Pew’s last survey.

With the decrease of p2p downloads due to the fear of legal trouble, many are turning to hardware-to-hardware file sharing. This includes devices like Apple’s iPod and other mp3 players.

The following is a table containing the data used by the Pew Project:

Sources for Current Downloaders

Do you CURRENTLY download music or video files from any of the following places?

Have you EVER downloaded music or video files from this source?

  Yes No, but have in the past No, and never have DK/
An online music service like iTunes or 27% 8% 64% 1%
Email or instant messages you receive 20 8 72 0
Other music-related websites, such as online music magazines or musicians’ homepages 17 6 78 0
A peer-to-peer network like Kazaa or Morpheus 16 17 65 1
Someone’s iPod or other MP3 player 15 4 80 0
Other movie-related websites, such as online movie magazine or review sites 7 2 90 1
Music or movie blogs 4 3 91 2
An online movie download service like Movielink 2 4 94 *

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3% for results.

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Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.