Sharing Is Huge

3:45 PM -- Digital Music News's wrap-up of the day's speakers at this week's Leadership Music's Digital Summit 2007 offers some context for how far iTunes and its nascent competitors have to go before the legal download saves the music industry. Here it is, from Joe Fleisher, VP of sales and marketing at online media analysis company BigChampagne:

Fleisher estimated that monthly swap volumes easily cross one billion, and more according to other estimates. Quoting IFPI estimates of swapping levels across a number of protocols, Fleisher tossed a larger figure three billion, a tally that surpasses the total number of purchased tracks since 2003.
Yes, more files are shared every month than have ever been downloaded legally.

Of course, this isn't apocalyptic news. Labels have been fighting unauthorized duplication for decades, and with CD sales plummeting, it should be reassuring that demand for music still exists. Granted, that demand is for music in the form of unencumbered MP3's, but we already knew that, right?

— A.L. Friedman, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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