Netflix is the largest source of Internet traffic in North America

By on May 17, 2011, 4:00 PM

Sandvine today announced the release of its Global Internet Phenomena Report: Spring 2011, including Internet trends from North America, Latin America, and Europe. Since the last report in the fall of 2010, the general trend appears to be a growing appetite for on-demand applications. There were three major findings in the report:

  • In North America, Netflix is now 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic and has become the largest source of Internet traffic overall. Currently, Real-Time Entertainment applications consume 49.2 percent of peak aggregate traffic, up from 29.5 percent in 2009 – a 60 percent increase. Sandvine forecasts that the Real-Time Entertainment category will represent 55 to 60 percent of peak aggregate traffic by the end of 2011.
  • In Latin America, Social Networking (overwhelmingly Facebook) is a bigger source of traffic than YouTube, representing almost 14 percent of network traffic. Real-Time Entertainment represents 27.5 percent of peak aggregate traffic, still the largest contributor of traffic in that region.
  • In Europe, Real-Time Entertainment continues a steady climb, rising to 33.2 percent of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9 percent last fall. BitTorrent is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7 percent) and downstream (21.6 percent) Internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC's iPlayer is 6.6 percent of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localized content in many markets. Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans.

The statistics in this year's study are based on voluntary and completely anonymous data, aggregated from fixed and mobile service provider networks spanning the three markets. Sandvine argues that by including over 220 service provider customers spanning more than 85 countries, it can offer the most comprehensive report of its kind in the industry.

"The information and trends in Sandvine's Spring 2011 Global Internet Phenomena Report, emphasize the need for innovative solutions to keep up with rapidly evolving consumer demands for content and connectivity. The dramatic growth of Netflix and its impending global expansion are prime examples of a growing appetite for real-time entertainment," said Dave Caputo, President and CEO, Sandvine. "It is also important for fixed and mobile broadband providers to have real-time policy control capability, made possible by insightful business intelligence, in order to put sound strategic decisions into action."

The Netflix statistic is by far the most impressive. The Los Gatos, California-based company was established in 1997 and started its subscription service in 1999. By 2009, it was offering a collection of 100,000 titles on DVD, surpassing 10 million subscribers. In September 2010, Netflix launched its streaming service in Canada for $8 per month. It isn't available anywhere outside of the US or Canada (yet?) but we can imagine the impact of the company if it was.

User Comments: 5

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Guest said:

youtube is not strange

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

This seems like undeniable confirmation of what current copyright violators have been claiming all along. Provide what they want at a reasonable rate and people will adopt it.

Bittorrent was the largest bandwidth user until Netflix, and if you'd believe the RIAA/MPAA all that traffic was for illegal sharing. Now you have a legitimate service that provides unlimited real time content at $8/month, and it soars above the black market in usage.

You'd think it'd be so obvious, but I'd put money down that the AA's will claim is their rigorous persecution of customers that's brought about the change. /sigh


This doesn't surprise me at all. The convenience and cost factors involved in Netflix and similar offerings are good enough to get people to stop buying physical media. Now all we need is for these services to start offering the content for permenant download. There are plenty of us with home media servers to store video, lowering the amount of bandwidth we need to consume because if we want to watch something again, we already have it.

Another thing, I really don't think a lot of our ISP's links to the backbone are fast enough to handle this increase in bandwidth consumption for video streaming.

avoidz avoidz said:

I imagine if the service was ever offered here in Australia, the cost would be far greater than a mere $8 dollars a month. Based on previous pricing models, it would be more like $29.95 per month.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

From my calculations it would be more like 24 usd a month for you guys. Maybe you will or maybe you wont miss 6 bucks, but either way this is a great sign for the direction of tv shows and movies.

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