BIPlog has written about Big Champagne before, and understood from their website that it is a service that measures music downloads which they point out through media quotes in the center of the front page. But Online Tonight's editorial column by David Lawrence refutes this impression Big Champagne would like people to believe, and instead points out that they monitor what is offered, not what is downloaded. And there is a big difference.
Apparently, that information can be found by using KaZaa desktop, and a few other things on the Internet. Because there are more downloaders than uploaders, offerings are not a good statistic of what people download, and the article mentions that is an impossible statistic to get perfectly. It's something more akin to Nielsen ratings, which are estimates. Big Champagne won't discuss their methods. They also don't apparently count the downloads on legitimate sites. And in using IP addresses to determine geographic location, they profess to have more accuracy than is possible.
It's an interesting look at this company that has clients like Clear Channel/Premiere, Blender Magazine and E! Entertainment, and a CEO that recently testified before the California Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry. Read the article, because it makes clear how Big Champagne may have fooled the media and their clients into thinking they know much more than they do.
From the front page of Big Champagne's website:
"What Nielsen is to TV ratings, BigChampagne is to the increasingly important measurement of what people are downloading on the Internet."
− The Atlanta Journal-Constitution