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P2P Traffic to Grow Almost 400% over the Next 5 Years, as Legitimate P2P Applications Become a Meaningful Segment Print E-mail

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., October 21, 2008— P2P Internet traffic, despite having grown at a torrid pace for years, will grow almost 400% over the next 5 years, according to MultiMedia Intelligence.  Growing from a level of 1.6 petabytes of Internet traffic per month in 2007, P2P Internet traffic will grow to almost 8 petabytes per month by 2012.  

P2P data currently represents 44.0% of all consumer traffic over the Internet and 33.6% in North America.  Although the base of legitimate P2P traffic is starting quite small, legitimate P2P traffic is expected to grow 10 times as fast as illicit P2P traffic. Content owner increasingly see P2P as cost effective way to distribute digital entertainment services and content.


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“The awareness of P2P networking grew from the illicit ‘sharing’ of music files, much to the chagrin of content holders,” according to Frank Dickson, Chief Research Officer with MultiMedia Intelligence.  “Despite the prevailing perceptions of P2P as synonymous with content piracy, P2P is emerging as viable means of distributing legitimate content.”


MultiMedia Intelligence’s new research also found:

  • P2P networking is dominated by music in terms of the number of files transferred.  However, in terms of bandwidth, growth of video is explosive. This growth is largely attributable to a transition to higher quality video and growing video demand in less developed markets. 
  • As the number legitimate P2P services grow, P2P is entering a second- generation evolution.  Such next generation P2P services leverage traffic steering or management and include P4P, P2P caching and hybrid solutions, such as CDN/pseudo CDN services with P2P.
The research, P2P Networking: Content’s “Bad Boy” Becomes Tomorrow’s Distribution Channel, analyzes the P2P market in terms of worldwide broadband penetration, consumer consumption of data, audio and video files and its associated revenue.  Forecasts are provided on an annual or per monthly average (e.g. PB/month) from 2006 through 2012.  Forecasts include:
  • Worldwide and Regional Broadband Penetration
  • Worldwide Consumer Internet Data Volume
  • P2P Traffic as Measured by Quantity of Bits Transferred, by Content Type and by Number Monthly P2P Files
  • Total Media P2P Files by Content Type, Monthly Data Volume by Content Type and Legal Media by Content Type
  • “Value” of Purchased and Pirated Content for Music Tracks, Short-Form P2P Video Content, Episodic P2P Video Content and Long-Form P2P Video Content
  • Apportioned US ISP CAPEX and OpEX Resulting from P2P

For more information about the report visit

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Rick Sizemore

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About MultiMedia Intelligence

MultiMedia Intelligence, a market research and consultancy firm, specializes on the markets and technologies for delivering and monetizing digital content and services across multiple platforms. We look beyond the classic 'three screens,' which include TVs, mobile handsets, and computers. We put markets into the broader context of the industry ecosystems that are converging and changing traditional business models.