It’s been almost a month since we released our latest Global Internet Phenomena Report and during that time I have talked to a number of our customers and media outlets about the wide range of facts and stats that the report revealed.
One of the topics I was frequently asked about was P2P Filesharing falling below 10% of total traffic on North American fixed access networks. One common misconception I heard during those conversations was the fact that Filesharing traffic was declining in volume. This is something that we do not believe to be true. Many fixed access network operators in North American are forecasting 30-40% annual growth, and while Filesharing traffic share may declining, volumetrically it is likely still increasing as network traffic grows.
What is true however is that Filesharing’s decline (seen below), has been Real-Time Entertainment’s gain. We believe more and more people are choosing streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, Hulu, Pandora Radio, and Spotify because they offer an incredible amount of quality content at a reasonable price without the moral and legal complications that pirating provides.
In fact, combined, Netflix and YouTube now account for over half of downstream traffic during peak period in North America. That’s something that’s quite incredible if you stop and think about it.
So how low will Filesharing go exactly? I think the floor is a little lower, but not much. If I were a betting man I’d say 7-8% is about where it bottoms out in the next three to five years. There will always be a certain subset of subscribers who will use Filesharing protocols to procure content no matter how expansive of a content catalog streaming services offer. You will also see (in fact it’s likely begun) some subscribers migrate towards using BitTorrent with a VPN to protect their identity, or switch to Newsgroups in order to procure certain types of content.
I will bring some more insight from our latest report in coming weeks, but in the mean time I suggest you just download a copy of the 2H 2013 Global Internet Phenomena Report for yourself.