Napster Inc., the controversial Web site for swapping music files, has another "record" to its credit: its file-sharing software is the fastest-growing software application ever among U.S. home users, according to a study released by Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. on Thursday.
The number of U.S. home users of the Napster software grew from 1.1 million unique users in February 2000 to 6.7 million unique users in August 2000, registering an astronomical increase of 506.8 percent over a six month period, according to the report. A unique user is someone who used the software at least once in a given month. Unique users are counted only once for the purposes of the study.
The report also said that 8.5 percent of the U.S. home Internet users utilized Napster in August 2000, up from 1.4 percent of home users in February 2000.
Usage of Napster's software from the workplace also increased, from 417,000 unique users in May 2000 to 1.2 million unique users in August 2000.
Napster has been in the news a lot lately. Napster's servers went offline on Wednesday due to an "equipment failure." [See "Equipment Failure Knocks Napster Offline", Oct. 4]. Napster is also in the middle of a copyright infringement suit filed by the Recording Industry Association of America Inc. (RIAA), an organization representing the largest music labels.
Jupiter Media Metrix, in New York, can be reached at +1-212-780-6060 or at http://www.jup.com/.
Napster, in San Mateo, California, can be reached at +1-650-482-9300 or on the Web at http://www.napster.com/