(CelebrityAccess News Service) — While FastTrack-based file sharing applications like KaZaA continue to dominate in North America, Europeans are evincing their own unique patterns and preferences, both in terms of their favorite peer-to-peer (P2P) clients and the types of content they choose to share. A new study by Sandvine Incorporated shows that P2P is now a multi-application reality, debunking the presumed dominance of FastTrack across the globe.
"The file sharing marketplace is really only a few years old, but it's changing rapidly and we're now seeing measurable divergences along geographic, even national lines." said Chris Colman, managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa, of Sandvine Limited. "In the beginning there was only Napster. Today's file sharing environment is much more fragmented, with a varying proportional mix of current and emerging P2P applications dominating in each region."
In The United States and Canada, Sandvine's study shows that FastTrack-based applications like KaZaA still generate more than 76% of all P2P traffic — more or less uniformly across the continent. But in Europe, end user preferences tend to vary country-by-country, with FastTrack often playing second fiddle to newer applications like eDonkey. In Germany, for instance, eDonkey accounts for more than 52% of file sharing traffic VS. 44% for FastTrack.
Researchers were also surprised to note the near elimination of Gnutella-based applications as a significant driver of file-sharing traffic. "If a wildly popular application like Gnutella can emerge and all but disappear in less than three years, it's certainly possible that FastTrack, too, could one day be headed for history's technology dustbin," added Colman. –Jane Cohen and Bob Gossweiner