That being said, if you're a content creator or owner of any kind, BitTorrent can be one of your worst nightmares as your work can be freely distributed to anyone anywhere if they so choose. Here are a few things you should now about the service.
1) BitTorrent has over 100 million monthly users. That includes over 20 million active users that download over 400,000 files daily. That does not include what may be up to a couple million unofficial clients.
2) BitTorrent has twice as many users as Hulu and Netflix combined, but it's only has about half as many users as iTunes or YouTube. This puts things into perspective a bit when you realize that twice as many people are willing to obtain their entertainment legitimately.
3) BitTorrent still makes most of its money from its toolbars. This means that unless they figure out a different business model, they're leaving a lot of potential money on the table since there's really no other way to take advantage of this massive amount of traffic.
4) Surprisingly enough, the highest searched for music item was only #47 of the most searched items (that was Eminem). All of the top 10 searches where Hollywood movies. People may be still downloading your music, but I would worry a lot more if I were a film studio, although that doesn't say too much for the popularity of music these days, does it?
What does this all mean?
A) People still are willing to pay to a quick and easy user experience.
B) Music is in trouble because people are beginning to feel that it's not worth stealing.
C) BitTorrent makes a lot of money but it's not the huge cash cow that it should be, given the amount of traffic that it has. Services like this have a tendency to be bought for their technology, or disconnect from their audience to find a new business model, so don't be surprised if one day BitTorrent isn't there anymore or becomes something else.
Read Kyle's article on Hypebot here.
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