What do you get when you analyze nearly 300 quadrillion megabytes of Internet traffic? Aside from really tired, I mean. Well, if you’re Arbor Networks, you get the largest study of global Internet traffic since the beginning of the commercial Internet in the ’90s. And ten guesses who came out on top. (No fair cheating, reading the headline!)
Yep, Google received 6% of all traffic worldwide. Meanwhile, 29 other giants, including Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft, rounded out the top 30% of traffic—meaning that these days, a few big sites are getting a lot of the Internet’s traffic.
Considering that only 52% of Internet traffic is web-based, this is even more significant. (The other 48% is made up of email and private networks. And did you know that P2P constitutes 18% of Internet traffic? That’s down from 40% two years ago.)
The study shows a few interesting Internet traffic shifts in recent years, and not just in P2P data (though Read Write Web says the shift away from P2P is probably due to the growing popularity of streaming from YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, with up to 20% of web traffic coming from video). As we see so often, the big sites are acquiring more and more of the little sites, amassing a greater and greater percentage of web traffic—and consolidating traffic more and more into the hands a few companies.
Who makes up the rest of the oligarchy?
The other companies making the list of Internet giants include names like Akamai, Limelight, BitGravity, Highwinds, and Gravity – hardly household names, and certainly not big telco providers. Instead, these content delivery networks (CDNs), are the new Internet backbone that help move large amounts of data across the web.
Arbor Networks Chief Scientist Craig Labovitz says that “as content is getting faster and better quality it will change the face of the internet.” What do you think? Is content the next wave of Internet revolution?