MiniNova – 4 Billion Downloads

Niek of MiniNova has announced on the MiniNova blog that the popular BitTorrent indexing site has recently hit its 4 billionth torrent download. The news comes just 3 months after clocking their 3 billionth download.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

It was just shortly after the death of SuprNova in 2004. Many BitTorrent users were distraught seeing their major source of content go down. It was, indeed, a dark day in the BitTorrent community. Many made an exodus to other sites like ThePirateBay and several other sites, trying to find the next big place in BitTorrent. It may not seem like the wisest decision to simply start a site up with a similar name given many factors including Holleywood setting their sites on a then up and coming protocol, but for a team of enthusiastic individuals, the timing could not have been better.

MiniNova quickly gained momentum, despite the odds. In early 2005, the site became popular enough to make an appearance on a site traffic tracking website Alexa. Late in 2005, the staff started a blog to keep the community informed of the ongoings of the site. By the end of that very month, the indexing site was getting about half a million unique visitors a day.

Just two months later, MiniNova was reporting that the site was then getting nearly 4 million views a day. If that wasn’t enough, by the time 2006 was close to being half way over, MiniNova reported that they got their 400 millionth torrent download.

At the beginning of 2007, MiniNova served their 1 billionth torrent download. A major milestone that was topped just 5 months later with their 2 billionth torrent download. What better way to top that off than with the 3 billionth torrent file downloaded just another 5 months later? Of course, now just 3 months later, yet another billion torrents downloaded; totaling 4 billion. It may be a growth rate enough to make McDonalds blush. If there is anything this proves, there really isn’t anything “mini” about MiniNova.

Of course, the growth had to overcome some major issues along the way. copyright infringement notices were issued to MiniNova almost since the beginning. Anti-piracy organizations tried, and failed to cripple the site with fake torrents. There was an increase in skepticism about the safety of using public BitTorrent sites and many started using “private” or closed of BitTorrent sites starting at around 2006. There were the server problems that probably showed MiniNova’s growing pains more than anything else throughout the years – an issue that is increasingly little more than a thing of the past these days as continual server upgrades keep downtime at bay.

Despite it all, the site has not only become a site that is growing at an increasing rate, but also a site that is expanding in functionality with the introduction of a search cloud two years ago and this years addition of the Content Distribution system among many other features.

“It’s nice to see that the download counter continues to speed up: after reaching 3 billion downloads back in November 2007,” Niek writes, “we expected to reach the current number only in March or April.”

Niek explains that the downloads that are counted are merely every time a user downloads a .torrent file, not necessarily when an actual file is completed.

“Some additional statistics for those who’re interested: our Alexa rank is currently 54,” he added, “and Google Analytics shows that more than 32 million unique visitors used Mininova last month. These people together generate more than 510 million pageviews per month, which causes quite some pressure on our servers. We do whatever we can to minimize downtime and add extra servers when necessary.”

Niek thanked the users and the moderator team for making the site what it is today. With continual growth and a seemingly unstoppable force, it may sound like a title that only goes to ThePirateBay, but MiniNova too shares that particular distinction. There is no telling where the site will go, but if the current course is any indication, it’s only going further into the cyber-stratosphere.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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