File-Sharing Now Accounts for Less Than 10% of US Internet Traffic…

bittorrentsandvinebreakdown

At the recent Future of Music  Summit, president of the Songwriters Association of Canada Eddie Schwartz argued that there isn’t any difference between Spotify and piracy.  According to the letter of the law, however, there is, and ‘legitimate’ services are now killing ‘illegitimate’ services, at least in the US.

Case in point: according to a just published report from Sandvine Research, the biggest piracy boogeyman, BitTorrent, is now taking a nosedive.  In just six months time, BitTorrent’s share of internet traffic volumes have plunged 20 percent to 7.4 percent overall.

Which means, file-sharing volumes are also plunging.

Sandvine noted that file-swapping now accounts for less than 10 percent of all internet traffic in the US, down from 31% in 2008.   In 2004, file-sharing hogged more than 70 percent of total internet bandwidth.  “As observed in previous reports, BitTorrent continues to lose share and now accounts for just 7.4% of traffic during peak period and file-sharing as a whole now accounts for less than 10% of total daily traffic,” the report noted.

“This demonstrates a sharp decline in share. Long are the days when file-sharing accounted for over 31% total daily traffic, as we had revealed in our 2008 report.”

Most are attributing this drop to the proliferation of legal services, whether Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, or any number of similar competitors across television, music, literature, and gaming.  That strongly suggests that anti-piracy efforts, whether suing grandmothers or Six Strikes letters, are having a marginal impact (if any).  “If this trend continues I think it can most likely be explained by the increase in legal alternatives people have in the United States,” Torrentfreak founder Ernesto van der Dar told the BBC.

 

“In Europe and other parts of the world, it’s much harder to watch recent films and TV shows on demand so unauthorized BitTorrent users continue to grow there.”

 

14 Responses

  1. jw

    At the recent Future of Music Summit, president of the Songwriters Association of Canada Eddie Schwartz argued that there isn’t any difference between Spotify and piracy.

    I’d love to hear the rest of that argument.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    “Most are attributing this drop to the proliferation of legal services, whether Spotify, Netflix, YouTube, or any number of similar competitors across television, music, literature, and gaming. That strongly suggests that anti-piracy efforts, whether suing grandmothers or Six Strikes letters, are having a marginal impact (if any). ”If this trend continues I think it can most likely be explained by the increase in legal alternatives people have in the United States,” Torrentfreak founder Ernesto van der Dar told the BBC.”

    Ah, so Spotify, Netflix and YouTube are not available in Europe yet?

    Any idea when they’re going to launch?

    Reply
  3. Faza (TCM)

    The headline’s a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? Shouldn’t it read “BitTorrent accounts…”? Two good reasons for that:
    1. As any freetard will tell you, BitTorrent has legitimate uses (whether they’re used is another matter entirely)
    2. It’s not like BitTorrent is your only option for illegal file-sharing

    Since we’re there, let’s look at the other options. How much stuff that generates traffic for YouTube is pirated? My guess, based on experience, a fair amount – perhaps the majority. It may be monetized through Content ID, but it helps few people other that YouTube/Google and it doesn’t make it any less illegal.

    Next, where do cyberlockers come in? What header would clicking a link to a pirated file fall under? HTTP? Quite possibly. I find it rather hard to believe that hypertext alone is able to generate a third of the traffic of streaming movies via Netflix – video is just about the most massive thing going through the pipes these days.

    Finally, piracy is quite easy using just text files. Gee, I believe you even have an article about that at this very moment (code word: lyrics). How much of that is going on? I’m guessing it might not be terribly impressive in terms of bits shifted, but looking at the number of transactions (what pages people actually visit) might tell a slightly different story.

    In short, if you have a lot of piratical options, it’s no wonder that any one of them will look less impressive now than it did when it was (just about) the only game in town.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “It may be monetized through Content ID, but it helps few people other that YouTube/Google”

      That’s just plain nonsense.

      Reply
    • jw

      A rights holder is in effect sanctioning an upload by monetizing it via contentid. That CLEARLY makes the upload less illegal, as the rights holder would have the right to remove the content but chose not to.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “A rights holder is in effect sanctioning an upload by monetizing it via contentid.”

        Indeed. ContentID is almost perfect — it still needs refinement in order to cope with cleared samples, generic content, noise, public domain footage, loops, etc. but it’s very close — and I’m convinced it shows us the future in no small way. YouTube deserves a ton of credit for that. (And this comes from a guy who thinks Google is evil incarnated.)

        Apply a variation of ContentID to the rest of the web, and you have solved the piracy problem.

        Imagine that:

        Google monetizes all pirated content on the net, gives it away to consumers and shares the revenue with right holders.

        Everybody’s happy. 🙂

        Reply
  4. Brian

    But what does this really mean? Since 2008 there has been a huge increase in the number of people using mobile devices to access the internet. More people are connecting now than ever in general so the % of people file-sharing is naturally going to adjust to these changes, but none of this data says anything about how many files are being pirated per capita and whether that has changed vastly since 2008. This is just one way of looking at some numbers, but I feel like there is much more to the truth.

    Reply
  5. Yves Villeneuve

    These days it’s mostly pirating new releases than stealing the back catalog. Piracy still needs to be controlled effectively in a multi-facet approach to restoring order in a dysfunctional part of society believing in unfair entitlement.

    Reply
  6. Chadwick

    Amazing! Its actually remarkable piece of writing, I have got much clear idea on the topic of from this article.

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    Reply
    • Anonymous

      “I have got much clear idea on the topic of from this article”

      Ernesto van der Dar, is that you?

      Reply

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