I read a recent report on one of my favorite sites on the state of how new users are being introduced to torrents. In that article, Torrent Freak stressed on how new people are introduced to torrents thanks to Google Search and now Google Instant. Of course, that is a fact, but those results are more often than not based on trends, or in the simple language, what people are searching for more related to any topic. A classic example is a "how to" search on Google.
You have to note, that Google themselves are not promoting anything, these are just trends which are driven by local people and what they are searching for. I ran some tests in multiple countries using proxy IP addresses (not website which provide proxy services) which are very reliable and which I pay for to test several things in different countries to understand what people are searching for when it comes to movies and whether torrents are really being pushed so hard to new users.
Which country downloads the most torrents; or at-least searches for them; let’s take a look at it. Starting with US, where I did not need to use a proxy. I searched for the same movies Torrent Freak did and the results were different suggesting that people in US were more interested in reading a review of the movie rather than downloading it.
As you can see in the above image, people in US searched more for reviews of the movie rather than the torrents. Of course the torrent did appear in the wall street movie search.
Next up, I hit the United Kingdom through a proxy IP address and the results were alarming to say the least, considering that UK is considered second only to the US in several ways.
Do you assume Canadians are safe enough to not fall to torrent downloads? Well think again after taking a look at the screenshots below. Once again the top search here was torrents.
Next to hit was Europe. I did searches in Germany and guess what was popular there? You guessed it wrong. In these countries torrents were not the most popular means of downloading, it was RapidShare, a huge file sharing network which is known to host illegal movies and music. Considering that RapidShare has their base in Germany, this was not a surprise.
Next to hit up was Asia, a continent where most of the software used is illegal. So, did it fare otherwise when it comes to movies? Disappointingly no. Considering that I have lived in India for almost 24 years, I wasn’t really surprised with the results down there. But you can take a look at it for yourself.
As you can see from the screenshots above. South Asian countries have more often than not found different ways to watch content illegally. Though torrents are their biggest search, watching movies online and downloading content is also a big part of their plate.
I am not saying that illegal download is only restricted to a particular country. However, in my experience I have found that developed countries such as United States watch or buy more content legally than other countries. It was surprising to see UK and Canada users searching for torrents on par with other developing countries though.
All in all, this was nothing more than just a experiment I intended to run to see who downloads torrents more and where. In the end it led to few revelations which I did not expect and things which I was already in the know.
If you have anything to say, feel free to leave a comment on this post.