BitTorrent traffic drops in US, jumps in EU and Asia

By on May 28, 2012
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Lack of legal alternatives to blame.

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In a recent report published by Sandvine, a global network hardware and software solutions company, some very interesting stats on internet usage have been revealed. According to the report, BitTorrent usage accounts for 11.3% of all internet usage during peak hours, a sharp decline from 17.3% compared to the same time period from last year.

Europe, on the other hand, has actually seen an increase over the last 18 months, almost four times as much! The total figure for BitTorrent usage during peak hours stands at 20.32%, to which eDonkey alone adds a further 9.39%, giving a total P2P internet usage of 29.71%!

Asia is a couple of steps ahead of Europe in this regard, with a total BitTorrent usage of 27.19%, with an additional 6.36% and 4.62% from the P2P streamer PPStream and file-sharing client Thunder respectively. This brings the total P2P usage of internet in Asia during peak hours to a whopping 38.17%. It’s also interesting to note from the table below that 60.67% of upstream in Asia is dedicated to file-sharing.

According to Sandvine the primary reason for such a large amount of file-sharing in Europe and Asia is due to the fact that no legal alternatives are available for the public to see the latest TV shows and movies. This is primarily due to licensing agreements in different countries.

The reason US traffic of BitTorrent is so low is because there are multiple ways to acquire TV shows and movies legally. Highlighting this fact is a figure from Netflix which amounts to 32.9% of all Downstream traffic during peak usage in the US.

As TorrentFreak says, “The challenge for the entertainment industry in the years to come is not to invent ways to stop piracy but to make it less attractive, by ensuring that consumers get timely access to the content they want independent of their location, and on demand.”


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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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