Streaming video and audio from the likes of YouTube and Hulu now account for roughly 27 percent of global Internet traffic, according to a new study from network management company Sandvine (hat tip to Multichannel News), which surveyed the top 20 ISPs worldwide. This stat is up from 13 percent in 2008.
The window for peak Internet usage, when most everyone is using their connection at the same time, condensed to 7 – 10 p.m. this year, a more primetime version of last year’s 6 – 11 p.m. peak period.
While the overall video numbers are up, Sandvine reports that P2P usage is down to 20 percent of total Internet traffic, from 32 percent in 2008. Sandvine said that the amount of P2P usage is growing on an absolute basis, but VOD applications are growing faster. Sandvine looked at the bits per second, per protocol, along with how many active hosts per protocol on the network.
This dip in P2P echoes other recent reports from Cisco and Arbor Networks that show use of peer-to-peer file-sharing as a percentage of broadband usage is on the decline. In June of last year, Sandvine said that P2P traffic was hogging up bandwidth, generating 43.5 percent of Internet traffic, but that study was just of several, unnamed “leading” service providers, which could explain the discrepancy from the 32 percent number released today.
P2P may be seeing its dominance lessen, but as Janko wrote the other week, “[T]hat doesn’t exactly mean that P2P is dead. It’s just not growing as fast as web-based video streaming, which has been largely responsible for a huge overall growth of net traffic. In other words: A smaller piece of a much larger pie can still be a whole lot of pie.”