One of the patterns that emerged with the rise of video streaming services is that BitTorrent is losing its share of total Internet traffic, in North America at least, where good legal services are available.
This downward spiral is confirmed by the latest report from Sandvine which reveals that torrent traffic is now responsible for ‘only’ 5% of all U.S. Internet traffic in North America during peak hours, compared to 10.3% last year.
In other countries, however, this decrease is not clearly visible. In Europe, for example, the percentage of Internet traffic during peak hours has remained stable over the past two years at roughly 15%, while absolute traffic increased during the same period.
In Asia-Pacific BitTorrent traffic there’s yet another trend. Here, torrents are booming with BitTorrent traffic increasing more than 50% over the past year.
According to Sandvine torrents now account for 32% of all traffic during peak hours, up from 21%. Since overall traffic use also increased during the same period, absolute traffic has more than doubled.
Looking at upstream data alone torrents are good for more than 55% of all traffic during peak hours.
One of the countries where unauthorized BitTorrent usage has been growing in recent years is Australia, which has one of the highest piracy rates in the world.
There are several reasons why torrents are growing in popularity, but the lack of good legal alternatives is expected to play an important role. It’s often hard or expensive to get access to the latest movies and TV-shows in this region.
It will be interesting to see whether this trend will reverse during the coming years as more legal services come online. Netflix’ arrival in Australia next year, for example, is bound to shake things up.