Torrenting Statistics You Should Learn About in 2023

Darko Jacimovic

Updated · May 12, 2023

Darko Jacimovic

Joined April 2023

With over six years of writing experience, Darko is a prolific writer in multiple industries includi... | See full bio


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Online piracy has been rampant worldwide. From movies and series blocked by geo-location to banned video games and essential software - many users rely on cyber-piracy to be updated and have the latest products and systems.

Pirated videos garner 230 billion views annually, and 25% of global internet reach is used for piracy. This causes the entire media industry to experience revenue loss.

Torrenting is one of the leading methods people use to pirate online. Torrents can be downloaded through personal computers or mobile, making it convenient for users.

Despite this, discover how common this is with these torrenting statistics.

Editor’s Choice

  • 59% of users know that streaming or downloading pirated content is illegal
  • The most pirated TV series is the House of the Dragon
  • You’re 28 times more likely at risk of malware infiltration if you download illegal content. 
  • The typical pirate is aged 16-24 and resides in urban areas
  • Piracy rates are highest in China at 90%.
  • India is the leading country for film piracy, with around 1 billion visits.
  • Europe leads the top torrenting regions, having 45.72% of all worldwide downloads.
  • 33% of internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific area is attributed to BitTorrent visits

How Common is Torrenting?

Torrenting is a common occurrence due to its convenience. Most entertainment industries already focus on subscription services like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Go. Users would rather depend on torrenting than pay for multiple services.

In 2021, pirate websites got 182 billion visits worldwide. Studies also show that COVID-19 caused a spike of 21.9% in online piracy in 2021.

Learn more about the torrenting statistics in this list below:

Torrent Usage Statistics

Torrenting allows users to access all kinds of data and information. Through this, its usages vary from what people need. BitTorrent, the leading torrent downloading site, has over 170 million users. 

With this, we can see how commonplace torrenting can be. Here are some noteworthy torrent usage statistics:

1. Around 28 million individuals do P2P file sharing every day. 

(VPN Crew)

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing dominated the film piracy scene in the last decade. While it’s an excellent way to share content, music, and films, it also affects the entertainment industry. People who wanted to access music no longer had to buy it because they could download it online. 

2. 59% of users know that streaming or downloading pirated content is illegal. 


In the United States, 39% of users don’t care that studios lose billions because of pirated videos or songs. Only 19% of Internet users said they’d stop downloading content illegally because of the financial damage it causes. 

3. Online video piracy costs the U.S. economy $29.2 to $71 billion annually.


In 2017, there were 106.9 billion visits to pirated TV streaming sites. Since paid streaming services offer limited content, most people turn to pirated movie sites to watch popular TV shows. 

4. The most pirated TV series is the House of the Dragon. 


Game of Thrones ended in 2019, but its prequel, House of the Dragon, dominated the piracy scene in 2022. It may seem alarming for the award-winning series. Still, HBO owner Jeff Bewkes said that piracy was “better than an Emmy” as it means more people will watch it, and more would pay for it.

5. 52.3% of users worldwide preferred to stream pirated content in 2021. 

(VPN Alert)

Stream-ripping music is the latest trend in pirating music files. You can find many stream-ripping websites with just one quick search. Any user can convert a file from any streaming platform, like Youtube. There are also multiple film streaming sites where you can watch movies and TV shows illegally, depending on your location or VPN access.

6. You’re 28 times more likely at risk of malware infiltration if you download illegal content. 

(Enterprise Apps Today)

Malware is an umbrella term for software hackers designed to damage or infiltrate an electronic device. Downloading unsafe files makes your devices vulnerable to malware attacks, causing data and file loss.

The demographic of People Using Torrents

Downloading torrents is common among internet users. These users vary in age, purposes, and location - despite the warning against the illegality of torrents. People aged 16-24 commonly use it for downloading music, while those aged 30-44 prefer it for downloading ebooks.

To know more about how demographics play a role in torrenting, here are some notable statistics:

7. Illegal music downloading is prevalent among 70% of 18-29-year-olds, compared to 46% of other adults. 


Piracy and torrenting of illegal data are illegal. Despite their uses and benefits for servers and systems, it's still considered stealing. However, most children or teens cannot access online payments, and most resort to torrenting. Most of them also feel less guilty in doing so. They do it within the privacy of their homes.

8. In 2008, the average teenager’s iPod contained 800 pirated songs. 

(The Times)

At its peak, torrenting music became the trend for teens. 61% of 14-17-year-olds had illegally downloaded songs on their devices. 96% of 18-24-year olds pirated content online. 

9. 41% of adult ebook piracy users fall between 18 and 29 years old. 


47% are in the 30-44 age range, with the remaining 13% being 45 years and above. While music and movies earned the top spots in piracy popularity, books are not exempted. In 2017, around 16.5 million electronic books (ebook) downloaders were in the U.S.

10. The typical pirate is a male aged 16-24 and resides in urban areas. 


44.44% of college-age males participate in online music piracy, compared to only 14.62% of females in the same age range. Both genders like music, yet this statistic shows that males typically engage in piracy. 

Torrenting Statistics by Country

Since piracy is rising, it’s no secret that more countries participate in torrenting than others. The United States is the frontrunner regarding online piracy and torrenting, followed by a few smaller countries. It appears the world is getting more into downloading content if it means they could consume these media for free. 

These statistics by country will tell you the top countries participating in torrent: 

11. Piracy rates are highest in China at 90%, Russia at 70%, and Thailand at 79%.


Software piracy is a billion-dollar industry in Asia. China houses the most significant piracy losses, amounting to $568 million. Of all software sold, only 4% are legitimately purchased. 

A whopping 96% belongs to piracy. Apart from Russia and Thailand, the IIPA monitors India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea for high piracy rates. 

12. India is the leading country for film piracy, with around 1 billion visits.


Online piracy and torrenting in India rose to 62% due to the aftermath of COVID-19. The cause for the spike is the halted use of cinemas and the rapid rise of social media video platforms, where users can upload movies on apps for free. 

This also causes problems for filmmakers and concerns for intellectual property within the country.

13. There are 17.38 billion visits to online piracy sites in the United States. 


America loses $29.2 billion every year because of online video piracy. Recent reports also show that film piracy increased by 33% during the COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Up to 560,000 jobs are lost every year due to video piracy. These numbers prove that people in the U.S. are the top offenders in film piracy. 

14. The Netherlands hosts multiple torrent sites. 


The Netherlands has relaxed piracy rules, and downloading copyrighted material is legal. However, they draw the line at software. One of the torrent sites they host, The Pirate Bay, is the most popular website to use the BitTorrent protocol that distributes moves, games, and music. 

15. Europe leads the top torrenting regions, having 45.72% of all worldwide downloads.


BitTorrent remains popular in the European region, with 50% of the total uploaded traffic still associated with the protocol. In 2020, the U.S. authorities, Europol, and Eurojust took down 60 servers in North America, Europe, and Asia. They also arrested numerous suspects in the case. 

16. Italy had a 50% jump in streaming site visits in early 2020. 

(The Wall Street Journal)

During the early days of COVID-19, online piracy significantly increased in Italy, with around 66% during the last week of March 2021 - a massive climb from the number in February 2020.


In 2015, around 90% of online content was pirated in Spain. Torrenting is legal in Spain because government officials don’t think people can make money out of it. It doesn’t work out for everyone, as it becomes a problem for artists to earn money for their creations.

The Intellectual Property Law was released in the same year, which fined piracy websites for illegal activity. 

18. 90% of internet users in Mexico download music torrents every day. 


The BSA claimed the value of Mexican pirated software amounted to $1.249 billion. Despite the relentless efforts of Mexican government officials, there has been a decrease of 1% in piracy every year since 2009. 

19. In Canada, torrenting copyrighted material is a civil offense, costing users a fine of $100 if caught.


Canada has strict copyright protocols regarding copyright modernization and torrenting. Most internet service providers (ISP) and VPNs in the country must log users' browsing histories and download activity. 

Legal authorities can fine users engaging in legal authorities with a minimum amount of $100. However, fines may reach up to $5000. Since then, about 1000 Canadian citizens have been fined by copyright holders in Canada.

20. 33% of Internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific area is attributed to BitTorrent visits. 

(Torrent Freak)

Despite U.S. and Europe contending for the most torrenting use, Asia-Pacific’s BitTorrent traffic is increasing by up to 50% compared to other upstream and downstream use on the internet. 

21. U.S. citizens had 12.5 billion visits to online piracy sites in 2020.


The U.S. has taken the top spot in online piracy. This is due to North America's vast production and consumption of entertainment media and literature. Another factor is the country's large user base, primarily focusing on gaming torrent sites.

After the U.S., Russia ranked 2nd with 8.3 billion visits, followed by China with 7 billion trips.


Torrenting and piracy are the internet’s most significant inventions - and doom. Many policies and laws surround online piracy and torrents. However, internet users still rely on these sites for free software, games, and music.

BitTorrent, uTorrent, and streaming sites are for all and allow users access to files that may or may not be available within their home country. Some also rely on these sites to provide access to banned data, games, and books.

Despite this, torrenting is still a two-edged sword - you get free stuff but might get a  virus or malware in return. So practice internet safety by using private networks, VPN, hiding your IP address, and using specified web browsers with VPN for torrenting.


How much money is lost to piracy?

TV and film piracy costs around $29 billion in loss in the U.S. alone. Piracy also accounts for the industry loss of 230,000 to 560,000 jobs in the entertainment industry.

Can you get jail for torrenting?

It will depend on the legal statutes of the country you are living. Some countries like Canada, U.K., and U.S. have strict piracy laws. At the same time, some, such as Netherlands and Switzerland, have relaxed copyright codes.

Which country is best for torrenting?

Sweden. The speed and servers in Sweden are optimal for torrent downloads. Most torrent users also use Sweden servers to download their files.

Do I need antivirus when torrenting?

Yes. It would be better to have good firewall or antivirus system to protect you from viruses, as some torrents may have malware or viruses. You have to remember that torrenting is still illegal; it's one-way hackers can get to your system.

What does torrenting target the most?

Your location or IP address. When you download a torrent, your IP address is exposed to all downloading the same file. Hackers can use this to access your Wi-Fi network and infiltrate your personal computer.

What is the advantage of using torrents to download files?

Torrenting files or downloading using torrent is faster than conventional downloading. Seeding can also help other users download the same file faster.


Darko Jacimovic

With over six years of writing experience, Darko is a prolific writer in multiple industries including, but not limited to, technology, digital marketing, and finance. Acquiring a BA in English pushed him to pursue his lifelong dream to conquer the internet and take over the SERPs with high-quality content. Darko became an expert in technology the hard way—he broke a lot of computers and cellphones. Now, he tries to give back to the community by crafting some of the most popular tech guides and articles on the World Wide Web.

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