More Than One-Third of PCs Now Carry LimeWire, Research

More than one-third of all PCs worldwide now have LimeWire installed, according to data jointly released by Digital Music News and media tracking specialist BigChampagne.

The discovery is part of a steady ascent for LimeWire, easily the front-running P2P application and the target of a multi-year RIAA lawsuit.  For the third quarter of this year, LimeWire was found on 36.4% of all PCs, a figure gleaned from a global canvass of roughly 1.66 million desktops.

The installation share is impressive, and unrivaled.  But growth has actually been modest over the past year.  LimeWire enjoyed a penetration level of 34.1% at the same point last year, a difference of merely 2.3%.  “LimeWire continues to be the iTunes of P2P by a wide margin … but growth has remained flat over the last several months,” said Richard Menta, research analyst at Digital Music News.

The report closely follows a legal defeat for LimeWire owner Lime Group LLC, which alleged anticompetitive, collusive behavior amongst major labels.  But that challenge was thrown out by a federal court, shifting the attention back towards a massive infringement suit being spearheaded by the RIAA.  For consumers, the legal volleys are mostly background noise, and more users than ever are relying on the application to acquire freebie downloads.

The complete Digital Media Desktop Application report – which covers ecommerce, jukebox, BitTorrent, P2P and other applications