As people are getting faster and faster Internet connections, more and more pirated movies are downloaded online:
As it turns out, P2P-based music sharing has remained relatively flat over the past year. During May 2006, Big Champagne reported just shy of 9 million simultaneously connected unique peers sharing music on the popular P2P networks. One year later, that number had increased only slightly to 9.35 million. "There have been years when we have seen double-digit percentage growth," Garland told Ars. "Compared to that, the last 12 months have been rather flat." In fact, on a month-by-month basis, traffic during 2007 has been flat, and almost all of the growth Big Champagne has seen falls within the margin of error.
It could be that the threat of lawsuits are keeping people from popular P2P networks like Limewire, driving them instead to a legal outlet like the iTunes Store. It might also be that the market has reached saturation. "It's like e-mail," said Garland. "For a number of years, the population using e-mail was increasing dramatically. Once everyone who wanted e-mail had e-mail, growth flattened out."
The news for the motion picture and television industries is not so good. BitTorrent has become far more popular: "We've seen real, dramatic growth in BitTorrent usage," notes Garland. That has resulted in a greater average population of seeders and leechers per torrent. In May 2006, the average torrent had 817,588 people participating. 12 months later, that figure had jumped to 1,357,318 seeders and leechers: a 66 percent year-over-year growth rate.