The BitTorrent popularity surge is still underway, with more users discovering that it’s the fastest way to transfer large files online. One of the most frequently visited torrent sites, Mininova, has seen the number of torrent downloads double from 3.5 billion to 7 billion during 2008, and this download rate is still increasing.
Mininova, founded in January 2005, soon became one of the most successful torrent sites. The site has grown steadily over recent months, and for a few weeks now the millions of daily users have been downloading well over 10 million torrents a day.
In 2008 the site passed several milestones, and in December Mininova broke a new record of 44.7 million unique visitors in one month. More users download more torrents, and just about every three to four months the site added another million torrent downloads to its counter. Today, just a few days into 2009, Mininova is close to recording the 7 billionth download, a double up compared to a year ago.
Mininova co-founder Niek told TorrentFreak that he expects this growth to continue in the new year. “Traffic is still growing according to Quantcast and Google Analytics. Unless something drastically changes, I see no reason why this will be different in 2009,” he commented.
Over the past months we’ve reported on the trend of more artists and publishers taking BitTorrent seriously, and Niek has noticed the same. “That’s definitely true,” he said. “We have almost reached the point of 1000 active CD publishers. We expect that free content distribution will play an increasingly important role in the music and video industry during the coming year.”
While existing Internet users are turning to BitTorrent at an increasing rate, most growth can be expected from rapidly developing countries such as India. With only 5 million broadband Internet subscribers, India is a relatively small player. However, the government plans to increase this number to 50 million by 2012, a 1000% increase, and we expect that many of them will be eager to try BitTorrent.
The exponential growth reported by Mininova and other torrent sites shows us that the BitTorrent hype is far from over. ISPs should brace themselves.