Video Streaming Chewing Up The Internet: Porn is Number 1

PornNo1According to a very recent study by envisional dated January 2011 [v1.8, envisional Ltd, Betjeman House, Cambridge, UK], based on data volumes transferred in 2010, porn is Number 1—but only just. Coming a very close second was movie [film] downloads and streaming video.

Of all file traffic surveyed 35.8 percent was pornography, movies made up 35.2 percent, and coming in third is televisions programming at 14.5 percent.

Initially this breakdown seems flawed—it did to me anyway—because it has music at sixth place making up only a tiny 2.9 percent of file traffic. But when you think about it this probably makes sense. While thousands more music files would be downloaded than movies and pornographic videos combined, music files are much smaller (tiny in comparison) and therefore comprise much less of the traffic per file downloaded. Whereas the average music file is probably around 2MB in size (based on single tracks), the average movie or porn video is likely to be more like 500MB to 1.5GB in size—the traffic equivalent of 600+ music files in a single file download.

envisional included the five main means of transferring file data over the Internet:

  • BitTorrent and P2P file sharing.
  • Cyberlockers (I had look this one up Wikipedia).
  • Video streaming sites.
  • eDonkey/eMule and the Gnutella network.
  • USENET.

I printed off and read the entire 56 page report.

Another interesting breakdown is the following pie chart which shows the breakdown of Internet traffic into the various services provided by the Internet.

InternetBreakdown

Not surprisingly the most used protocol on the Internet in 2010 was the World Wide Web protocols (HTTP/HTTPS), which comprised 38 percent.

But what did surprise me was that the second highest usage of the Internet was the streaming video protocols. This traffic is generated by people who are watching video over the Internet as it plays—not to be confused with people who download video and watch it later. I was very surprised to see just how much of the Internet’s availability was being consumed by people watching streaming video.

The third biggest protocol on the Internet goes to the BitTorrent downloaders. I actually would have thought this would have been second, but it comes in third and is not even half of the amount of the second place consumer—video streaming.

Another interesting slice of this pie is Gaming which only shows up as 0.8 percent of all Internet traffic. I thought my son alone would have been using that much! With all the gamers in the world playing these MMORPGs (massively multi-player online role playing games) I am amazed that the traffic they produce is only making up 0.8 percent of the overall Internet traffic.

So nothing much has changed in the world then. Porn is still king as it has been since the days of the Egyptians and before.

BarryMark