Peer-to-peer sharing platform BitTorrent has helped ferry out terabytes and terabytes of data to users in small bits, much to the anger of the TV, movie, and music industries, which fear it a cesspool of pirated media files. Regardless of corporate complaints, there's no question BitTorrent has become a force to reckon with--more popular than some of the biggest media outlets and social networks in the world.
According to stats released by BitTorrent at CES on Monday, the sharing platform has surged to 100 million monthly active users. How does that stack up against other digital content providers?
BitTorrent now boasts more active users than Hulu and Netflix combined--and then doubled. The popular TV and movie providers have 30 million and 16.9 million users, respectively. BitTorrent has nearly half of iTunes' users and YouTube's monthly users in the U.S. It has about the same active users as viewers on Yahoo and Facebook combined.
In other words, BitTorrent has developed a "massive digital audience," as CEO Eric Klinker said Monday in a statement. Of course, the above comparisons are not exact--comparing free download sites to subscription streaming services or retail outlets in users isn't exactly apples to apples. But people are deciding between all of these services.
With 100 million users, what's so remarkable about BitTorrent's meteoric rise is just how mainstream the P2P sharing platform has become.
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