New data from Arbor Networks shows that global P2P traffic is continuing to decline. In fact, P2P apps are the fastest declining application group, according to a report presented at the 77th IETF meeting in Anaheim last week. Here's a graph showing the rate of decline, in relationship to overall Internet traffic, from 2007 to 2009:

arbor p2p decline graph 1

And here's a list of apps and their weighted average grow and decline over the last two years:

arbor p2p decline 2

There's a few interesting things to point out here: VPN traffic has been growing significantly at the same time as P2P traffic has been declining, which could at least in part be caused by P2P users signing up for VPN services to hide their activity. Also, unclassified traffic includes P2P as well, with Arbor estimating that the total level of P2P traffic still is at around 18 percent, something the company's chief scientist Craig Labovitz calls "still significant values."

So where are all those users going that are abandoning P2P? Apparently, they're just getting their free media fix elsewhere, namely from one-click hosters. Arbor Networks was able to track traffic from Megaupload, and it's pretty significant.

arbor p2p decline graph 3

Why Megaupload? because that traffic was pretty easy to analyze. The company switched to a fairly small hosting company at the end of 2008, which has since seen an explosion of traffic that makes it easy to pinpoint it to Megaupload. Of course, there's reason to believe that Rapidshare is at least as big, if not even bigger, which should mean that one-click traffic is even more significant.

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