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Netflix and YouTube continue to steal market share from BitTorrent

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:06PM EST
BitTorrent Traffic Decline
Image: Netflix

With an easy to use interface and an abundance of $0.99 songs, Apple’s iTunes Music Store famously helped phase out illegal file sharing networks. In a similar vein, it appears that affordable video streaming services are slowly but surely putting a dent in the popularity of BitTorrent.

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According to a new report published by Sandvine, and relayed by TorrentFreak, the percentage of Internet traffic in Europe that can be attributed to BitTorrent dropped below 10% for the first time in years. As the chart below indicates, services like YouTube, Netflix, and even Facebook are eating into BitTorrent’s market share. By way of contrast, BitTorrent’s aggregate share of Internet traffic in Europe was nearly 18% two years ago.

Now because these are percentages, it’s still possible that overall BitTorrent viewing is on the rise, albeit at a slower rate than other video oriented services are growing. Regardless, because it’s never been easier or more affordable to access a seemingly endless library of TV shows and movies, it stands to reason that BitTorrent’s aggregate share of Internet usage will only continue to drop in the months ahead.

Europe aside, we’ve seen a similar dynamic take shape in North America as well. Just a few months ago, we highlighted how the rising popularity of Netflix in North America was pushing BitTorrent down lower and lower on the totem pole.

The following chart, published by Sandvine this past May, highlights the aggregate share of various video services in North America. Impressively, Netflix and YouTube’s share of Internet traffic together is more than 10 times larger than BitTorrent. Interestingly it even seems that iTunes, of all things, is creeping on BitTorrent.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.