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$ 4.1 Billion of US Broadband Operator CAPEX in 2007 "Attributed" to P2P Print E-mail

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., December 10, 2008— US$4.1 Billion of US Broadband Operator CAPEX in 2007 was driven by consumers’ use of peer-to-peer (P2P) networking, according to recent research by MultiMedia Intelligence. This is slightly down from the $4.2 billion spent in 2006.

CAPEX is not the only cost center for broadband operators when it relates to P2P; OpEX is affected as well. In 2008, US broadband operators incurred almost $700 million in OpEX expense as a result of P2P networking.


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While P2P traffic did not necessarily preempt these expenditures, P2P data flow represents a disproportionately large share of consumer data usage. Our research uniquely quantifies the impact that P2P has on broadband operators. Since the majority of P2P traffic is unlicensed content, our research demonstrates that piracy costs are not only impacting content owners, but broadband providers as well.


MultiMedia Intelligence’s new research also found:

  • The value of unlicensed (in some cases known as pirated) music trafficked on P2P networks in 2007 was US$69 billion.
  • Not all P2P content is unlicensed. The growth rate for licensed content files distributed over P2P networks is much higher than unlicensed, although it is fair to note that we are starting from a much smaller base.
  • P2P Internet traffic, despite having grown at a torrid pace for years, will grow almost 400% over the next 5 years. Growing from a level of 1.6 petabytes of Internet traffic per month in 2007 to almost 8 petabytes per month by 2012. 
  • Perhaps the greatest potential for P2P rests with solutions like P4P, that are more efficient and hybrid services. These platforms can provide live or near live content as well as efficiently distribute recorded material as well. In addition, solutions from companies like PeerApp, who provide caching solutions, will further enhance the efficiencies of these networks by further reducing the need for network interconnections.

This Intelligence Brief comes from MultiMedia Intelligence P2P Networking: Content’s “Bad Boy” Becomes Tomorrow’s Distribution Channel research. The report addresses 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

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Mark Kirstein

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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.