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Napster Still Climbing The Charts

Napster Still Climbing The Charts According To Nielsen//Netratings

Auckland: 8 March 2001 – As Napster is given a three-day ultimatum surfers around the world are rushing to the site to download as many files as possible, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Nielsen//NetRatings, the world’s largest and fastest growing Internet audience measurement service, is produced by ACNielsen (a venture between ACNielsen Corp., NYSE:ART and NetRatings, Inc., Nasdaq: NTRT), Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings, Inc.

“Napster may have lost in court but it’s a clear ratings winner,” says Brian Milnes, Managing Director Pacific ACNielsen “Media coverage of this case has had the opposite effect of what the record companies have been seeking as it has driven tremendous international growth in traffic to Napster.”

“With the court ruling that Napster must block the free sharing of music files named by record companies as their copyright material, it remains to be seen how restrictive access will become. But the votes are in from surfers around the world, with a four-fold increase in unique audience numbers visiting Napster in New Zealand, Australia and the US over the last 10 months.”

Latest figures from Nielsen//NetRatings show traffic swelled to almost 8.5 percent of New Zealand’s active internet audience in February, or 80,000 unique users. In January the average unique visitor spent 9 minutes per visit on the site and visited an average of 3.3 times (see table 1).

Table 1: Monthly New Zealand Unique User Traffic To
Month May 00 Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan 01 Feb
Unique audience
34,766 40,585 51,051 58,066 61,687 74,296 80,222
Active reach
5.01 5.39 6.64 6.97 6.89 8.34 8.44
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, at-home panel, New Zealand, May 2000 - Feb 2001

Way back in May 2000, Napster recorded a local unique audience of 17,000, or less than a quarter of current traffic.

Publicity surrounding the case back in September 2000 pointed increasing numbers of people to Napster as they hurried to download as much music as possible before the service was temporarily taken down. Nielsen//NetRatings data showed that in September over 40,000 people accessed the site.

American data showed similar patterns. In May last year unique visitors numbered 2,836,000. In January 2001, threatened with record companies effectively controlling what Napster can and cannot offer, unique visitors swelled to well over 10 million.

Additionally, American week by week data shows a tremendous spike in traffic as the judgement came closer (see table 2).

Table 2: Weekly US Unique User Traffic To
Week beginning 7 Jan 14 Jan 21 Jan 28 Jan 4 Feb 11 Feb 18 Feb 25 Feb
Unique audience (000) 4,339 4,190 4,540 4,742 4,913 5,197 6,443 6,047
Active reach 5.96 5.77 6.14 6.48 6.7 7 8.65 8.15
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, at-home panel, United States, Jan and Feb 2001

Australians also joined the rush, matching the trend for a four-fold increase in unique audience and active reach (see table 3).

Table 3: Monthly Australian Unique User Traffic To
Month May 00 Jun July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan 01 Feb
Unique audience 71,022 108,614 151,935 161,034 220,626 304,854 365,919 355,185 385,425 380,667
Active reach 2.01 2.78 3.83 4.27 5.3 7.15 8.22 7.99 8.56 8.39
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, at-home panel, Australia, May 2000 – Feb 2001

About Nielsen//NetRatings
Through strategic partnerships between NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen, the Nielsen//NetRatings audience measurement service collects real-time data from more than 200,000 individuals with access to the Internet around the world. The U.S. panel sample currently consists of 62,000 individuals with Internet access at home and 8,000 individuals with Internet access at work. International panels are under development with over 130,000 individuals with access at home currently being measured in 18 countries, representing over 80% of global Internet browser activity. These panels collectively represent the largest research sample of Internet users in the industry.

Nielsen//NetRatings uses unique technology capable of measuring both Internet use and advertising to provide the most timely, accurate and comprehensive Internet usage data and advertising information in the global marketplace. Nielsen//NetRatings tracks the entire spectrum of Internet user behaviour, leveraging proprietary data-collection technology from NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research's 50 years of expertise in research and audience measurement, and ACNielsen’s international leadership in offering market research information covering more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit


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