IDC Research Finds P2P Computing Will Significantly Impact the Future of Intellectual Capital

TORONTO – AUGUST 1, 2001 – Communities of ecustomers empowered by peer-to-peer (P2P) computing are changing the use, distribution, and value of intellectual capital (IC). This is the key message in IDC's new series of research.


"Napster was much more than just a means of "sharing" music. It was the first expression of how peer-to-peer networking enables communities of customers to exchange value and information, and change the structure of an entire industry," said Michael O'Neil, Country Manager, IDC Canada.

Highlights of IDC's research include the following:

· Napster Affinity group's demographic profile differs greatly from the Internet user community at large – penetrating across income categories, education levels, and job types.

· With the rise of Napster, virtual communities have the potential to impact the pricing, packaging, and marketing of content distributed over the Web

· In general, respondents indicate that choice, rather than price, is the key driver of "eCustomer Affinity" acceptance

According to IDC, owners and would-be-distributors of IC need to understand the opportunity presented by this substantial, varied, and growing group of potential customers. IDC also believes the winners will find ways to work with prospective customers, while losers will attempt to force their ecustomers to follow well-worn distribution strategies of business's brick and mortar past.

"Marketers of IC-based products need to understand this sea-change now so that they can build strategies that tap the power of the eCustomer Affinity and avoid being run over by the unharnessed capacity and enthusiasm of legions of P2P-powered enthusiasts," O'Neil said.

IDC recently surveyed 2000 Canadian adults to find out how they use virtual communities to access online content. The results of these findings are published in the following research:

· Peer to Peering: The Birth of the Virtual Community (IDC #25157)

· The Napster Affinity – What, and How Much? (IDC #25156)

· Napster, the Killer App (IDC #24452)

· Napster: User Motives and Methods (IDC #24453)

· The Napster Affinity: Pay? Pay Who? Pay How Much? (IDC #24454)

For more information on IDC's eCustomer Affinity research series, visit or call Michael O'Neil at 416-369-0033, extension 234, or email

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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