MP3 music file downloads on the Napster service dropped 36 percent in April compared to March, according to Internet research firm Webnoize. The filters required by a federal court order have reduced the average number of songs shared by the Napster service to 37, from 220 in March, according to the Webnoize report. Use has consistently dropped since song blocking was implemented. Users downloaded 1.59 billion files in April, down from 2.49 billion in March and 2.79 billion in February.Almost a 600% drop in the average number of files sharedI guess they weren't all sharing independent artists after all.
But it doesn't end there. What's more interesting is this tantalizing bit of information about Microsoft and Napster:
The Times reported that the two companies have been talking for weeks about a deal, citing sources close to Napster. Microsoft rejected an overture to buy Napster, and discussions now revolve around a licensing deal or equity stake in trade for Microsoft's security technology, according to The Times.I can't help but find it amusing that a company that everyone bags on for buying up the competition and amalgamating them into the Borg Cube in Redmond rejected buying Napster, the darling of "standing up to the man" MP3 traders. As much as I abhor seeing artists get ripped off by MP3 trading, it pains me to see Napster whore itself out like this.
Perhaps someone should send Shawn Fanning a copy of A. E. Housman's "To An Athlete Dying Young."
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.