May 10, 2001
12:17 PM   Subscribe

Sure, it's a short-term blip, the change was tiny, and there are unique circumstances. But the number of people online in this year's first quarter actually dropped for the first time since 1980. Not what I expected out of 2001.
posted by luser (9 comments total)
Napster censors illegal MP3 trading.
Number of people online drops.

posted by milnak at 12:26 PM on May 10, 2001

Interesting, but not being a Metallica fan I didn't really see any changes in my Napster search results until March -- if there is a Napster effect, it will probably show up in Q3 or 4.
posted by luser at 12:29 PM on May 10, 2001

I don't find it surprising, considering the amount of extraneous crap it seems I inevitably have to plow through to find what I need. But somehow, I'm still in love with my computer.
posted by Oddsea at 12:43 PM on May 10, 2001

Apparently, it's now much easier to unsubscribe from AOL.
posted by xiffix at 1:00 PM on May 10, 2001

Would a 0.29% change be within the sampling error for this census? My gut says yes.
posted by iceberg273 at 1:04 PM on May 10, 2001

Of course, I can't check that without ponying up $149. And now I really want to know what the sampling error is estimated to be. Ah, the things that frustrate us.
posted by iceberg273 at 1:06 PM on May 10, 2001

This is from PRNewswire, so it is as much of a sales pitch for the full report as anything. Regardless, many people used free dial-ups as backup to their main service, so declines in those numbers might not be all that real.
posted by tranquileye at 1:10 PM on May 10, 2001

Ah read the details though: if you leave off the fact that several free providers have gone caput (big surprise there), and look at the number of paying customers, it's still rising...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 2:23 PM on May 10, 2001

Note that this study only tracks subscriptions, not users. A lot of subscribers to the free services (well, of those I know) used them as backups to other services (like Bell Atlantic DSL...). I wouldn't be surprised if the margin of error for this study was well over 1%, which means that really, the number of subscriptions is essentially unchanged.

Other studies, such as those from Nielsen//Netratings, Jupiter MediaMetrix (and the hand that feeds me) have showed a slowing of growth, the actual number of internet users continues to grow.

As for Napster use since filtering, that's plummeted. According to Webnoize , Napster users traded 1.59 billion songs in April 2001, down from 2.49 billion in March and 2.79 billion in February. The average number of files shared per user dropped more than 80% since the company instituted its filtering system at the beginning of March.
posted by andrewraff at 3:12 PM on May 10, 2001

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