Remember when music was cool? Back in the days of Napster, it was music that defined file-sharing; millions of people raced to listen to the most obscure artists found in the libraries of friends and strangers. But that was back when music came on CD, was sold only by the album, and was a chore to rip to computers and (gasp!) transfer to the new MP3 players.
Now, with iTunes ascendant, DRM vanquished, the album disaggregated, and Pandora and Spotify available on smartphones, it’s almost more trouble than it’s worth to share music online unless you happen to be the world’s biggest cheapskate (and/or a college student).
All of which may explain why a new, rightsholder-funded study of P2P file-sharing shows music being traded far less than films, pornography, TV shows, video games, and computer software. Piracy isn’t a problem that industries like to have, but at least it suggests high interest in one’s product. When it comes to the 10,000 most popular files being shared online, however, music can only manage to beat out e-books in popularity.
» via ars technica