Napster spat raises profile and traffic of online music sites

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Online music sites enjoyed a surge in traffic and ad revenues in the week after a federal judge imposed an injunction on Napster, according to a study by AdRelevance, a division of Jupiter Media Metrix. Before the ruling, advertising at online music and streaming media sites such as Sonic.Net and AudioFind averaged $2 million; in the week after the injunction, that figure climbed to about $5 million, AdRelevance said.

The high traffic numbers lured new advertisers such as State Farm Insurance, Software, Allstate Insurance Co., Network Solutions and Citicorp. However, the surge in revenues fell back after a federal appeals court suspended the injunction while Napster appeals. AdRelevance looked at 23 Web sites including Napster, and AudioFind. Sonicnet posted revenue gains of 25%, while ad interest in AudioFind jumped 95%.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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