Bittorrent Traffic Drops 20 Per Cent in Six Months -- Is Hoarding Media on the Way Out?

By Gary Cutlack on at

The US has seen its Bittorrent traffic levels plummet by 20 per cent over the last six months, leaving the favourite distribution method of the film and music pirate absorbing just seven per cent of America's broadband capacity.

The stats, compiled by online monitor Sandvine, suggest that YouTube and Netflix are powering the reduction in file-grabbing, with 50 per cent of all US internet traffic now coming from the two video streaming titans. Sandvine's been collecting internet use data for 10 years, back when Bittorrent accounted for a huge 60 per cent of US internet traffic.

Obviously Bittorrent isn't used solely for piracy. We have to say that. But it's what the vast majority of users see it as being there for, so any fall in its use must be seen as coming from a reduction in people stealing media. Is it really down to Netflix? Is it because mankind's data is starting to ascend to the cloud and filling hard drives with music you'll never listen to and films you won't bother watching is now a bit... old fashioned?

In Europe, though, there's been no such drop, with torrent traffic still accounting for over half of internet upload bandwidth. [BBC]