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Interest in File-Sharing at All Time High
April 27, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
Font Bigger Font Smaller has been tracking the population of the largest P2P networks since we opened in 2000. We gather the statistics from the network clients, and verify them through a third party. For example, for FastTrack we use KCeasy to verify the statistics displayed by Kazaa Media Desktop. Although it is impossible for a crawler to count every user on a network, it does give an accurate representation to the network's trend over time.

In March of 2005, Slyck compiled our collected data. Starting with January of 2003, the respective statistics for eDonkey2000, DirectConnect, FastTrack, Gnutella and Overnet were averaged per month. Unfortunately there is no accurate way to gauge BitTorrent’s population (other than bandwidth consumption), therefore it is excluded. We then released our "Stats Expanded" section, which graphically depicted the growth or decline of these five networks.

These stats are displayed on a network-by-network basis. While they are able to demonstrate the growth of decline of an individual network, they do not compare or evaluate the trends of the P2P community as a whole.

Acting independently, Slyck member Anders Edström Frejman, also a PhD. candidate of Media Technology in the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, used Slyck's data and compiled a comparison graph depicting the trend of these major P2P networks. The results are displayed below:

As a comparison graph, it is interesting to note as FastTrack becomes narrower, eDonkey2000 and Gnutella both become considerably wider. Despite the MPAA's (Motion Picture Association of America) campaign to rid the Internet eDonkey2000 indexing sites in December, the growth of this network appears to continue unabated.

Another demonstration of Slyck's statistics is in the total population of the P2P community. Once again compiling the average number of users per month, we are able to see the general trend over the last two years. Although the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA have sued well over 10,000 indivuals, it appears this novelty has worn off as the P2P population has almost doubled since January 2003. The results are displayed below:

It is important to note these statistics do not include other important players in the file sharing world, such as BitTorrent, WinMX, SoulSeek, the Ares/Warez P2P network, the Manolito P2P network, Sharaza, FileTopia or OpenFT. While our stats dictate there is close to 9 million users on file-sharing networks at any given time, the addition of these other networks most likely pushes this number well over 10 million.

Although the mainstream media tends to report there is a decline in P2P and file-sharing usage, it appears this is largely incorrect. Quite the contrary, the interest in P2P and file-sharing networks appears to be at an all time high, with no end in sight.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Statistics/Analysis
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: Studies/Research

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