Earlier this year several publications claimed that P2P and BitTorrent were dying because of the increased popularity of streaming sites. In reality, BitTorrent is about to close a record year in terms of traffic and usage.
The misleading reports all based their conclusions on data supplied by a network-management firm, which showed that of all Internet traffic, the percentage consumed by P2P has slowly declined. However, those who take a closer look at the data will find that in absolute traffic, P2P continued to grow, with bandwidth used by streaming just growing a little bit faster.
BitTorrent is by no means dying, nor is there a decline. Quite the opposite. All the major BitTorrent sites saw a significant increase in visitor numbers over the past months. TorrentFreak asked Simon Morris, BitTorrent’s VP of Product Management, if this growth is also reflected in the usage stats of uTorrent.
“Probably the emergence of things like Hulu and continued growth of Youtube make it seem like Bittorrent is not the only thing driving demand for consumer bandwidth. But we see no evidence whatever that BitTorrent clients are any less popular,” Morris told TorrentFreak.
Around this time last year uTorrent had 28 million unique users a month, and by November 2009 this figure had almost doubled to 52 million monthly users. And things have been going equally well for uTorrent’s little brother, BitTorrent Mainline.
“In addition to this, at the start of this year we saw almost 5 million monthly users of BitTorrent Mainline,” Morris said. “In November 2009 we saw over 10 million.”
These statistics show that despite the legal setbacks The Pirate Bay, Mininova and isoHunt have faced in court, the number of people who are using BitTorrent has continued to grow significantly. There is no indication that this growth will slow, let alone stop, in 2010.
The uTorrent development team also has some major improvements in the pipeline. Last week streaming support was added to the client, and in the coming year it will add file security features and the option for torrent site owners to promote their content within the client.