A report by MultiMedia Intelligence claims P2P traffic will see a growth of 400 percent over the next five years, the firm also sees a bright future for legal P2P traffic and believes this will grow 10x faster than illegal P2P traffic:
For small content providers, especially companies involved in video, paying for a content delivery network can eat up a significant chunk of revenue. Done right, P2P distribution can save valuable cash for these providers, which is why Dickson sees P2P's lawful uses growing 10 times faster than its illicit uses.
Some of this is no doubt due to the "law of small numbers"; P2P's legal uses (transferring Linux ISO files, etc.) have always been dwarfed by its usefulness as a distribution mechanism for music and now video content. Thus, when legal applications begin to boom, it's much easier for them to rack up big percentage numbers.
ISPs aren't necessarily crazy about this shifting of the video burden from company servers (or CDNs) onto a network of decentralized users, since this can strain the network, especially when it comes to upload links. But it's not as though P2P is the only system straining ISP networks; as users hunger for their Hulu and their YouTube, streaming video has begun to consume shockingly high amounts of bandwidth, too—though almost totally downstream.