Online video has surpassed peer-to-peer usage as the largest generator of global broadband traffic, according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index Usage report.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing is now 25% of global broadband traffic, down from 38% last year, a decrease of 34%. While still growing in absolute terms, P2P is growing more slowly than visual networking and other advanced applications.
Peer-to-peer has been surpassed by online video as the largest category. The subset of video that includes streaming video, flash, and internet TV represents 26%, compared to 25% for P2P2.
Over one-third of the top 50 sites by volume are video sites. There is a high degree of diversity among the video sites in the top 50, including video viewed on gaming consoles, internet TV, short-form user-generated video, commercial video downloads and video distributed via content delivery networks (CDNs). Video sites appeared more frequently than any other type of site in the top 50.
The report also said that contrary to popular belief, none of the top 50 global web sites (by traffic volume) featured explicit adult content. This represents a shift in content compared to the composition of top global web sites two years ago.
Online video fluctuates more than file sharing traffic. Online video’s volatility (defined as the spread of traffic volume during the course of the day) is 51% higher than that of file sharing. The peak video hour is 91% higher than the average video hour, while the peak file sharing hour is 64% higher than the average file sharing hour.
The top 1% of broadband connections is responsible for more than 20% of total internet traffic. The top 10% of connections is responsible for over 60% of broadband internet traffic worldwide.
In an average day, internet “prime time” ranges from approximately 9pm to 1am around the world. This contrasts to broadcast TV prime time, which is generally from 7pm to 11pm across most global markets.
The average broadband connection generates 14.9 GB of internet traffic per month, up by 31% on the 11.4 GB per month last year.