There is talk that the convenience and reasonable pricing of Netflix‘s movie streaming services might be slowly ending torrenting and peer-to-peer file sharing. This comes after its number of subscribers have reached that of Comcast and after it started accounting for 40% of bandwidth use during evening hours. What it looks like is that users are turning to Netflix to watch movies cheaply and legally rather than wait hours for a free but illegal download. Someone tell Jack Sparrow that the rum might be running out.
According to Arbor Network’s chief scientist Craig Labovitz, P2P has fallen to a single-digit percentage of North American network traffic (8 percent) down from highs of over 30 percent in 2007.
“I think Netflix, iTunes, and Direct Download all play a role in the diminishing P2P traffic volumes,” Labovitz said. Direct download refers to sites such as Rapid Upload and MegaVideo that many have turned to share files with friends and the world, without the need for peer-to-peer software.
But this probably isn’t the end of America as a “nation of perpetual copyright scofflaws.” As long as the film industry is slow to put movies online, people will still find a way to do it. So there will be no “drowning sorrows in grog” over losing P2P movies any time soon. Other statistics show that P2P still grew from 15.1 percent to 19.2 percent in the same time period that Netflix reported growth (2009-2010). Said a commenter on Hacker News:
“When I want to watch a movie, the first place I go to is Netflix. I won’t tell you the second place I go to.”
Your move, film industry.
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