Netflix continues to diminish BitTorrent traffic

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,593   +124
Staff member

iTunes had a profound impact on the music industry more than a decade ago, demonstrating that people are indeed willing to shy away from piracy when presented with an affordable and easy-to-use solution. That same trend is repeating itself once again, this time with video.

Netflix, the streaming media juggernaut that nearly went off the rails in 2011, now accounts for nearly 37 percent of all Internet traffic during peak hours in North America according to a recent report from network equipment specialist Sandvine.

With so many people now opting to binge-watch on Netflix, it should come as little surprise that BitTorrent traffic is conversely on the decline. The firm found that BitTorrent traffic now accounts for just 6.3 percent of total Internet traffic in North America (and 8.5 percent in Latin America, for those curious).

As Sandvine Internet trends manager Dan Deeth told Mashable when last year’s report was released, people have shifted their activities to streaming over file sharing. Streaming subscribers get quality content at a reasonable price and it is dead simple to use whereas torrenting or file sharing can be a little more complicated.

True enough, illegal file sharing has been on the decline for years. During its peak several years back, it accounted for nearly a third of Internet traffic. And with more people cutting the cord each day, Netflix’s popularity is impossible to ignore and will likely continue to grow.

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Nick D

Posts: 29   +9
Torrent traffic doesn't also account for streaming sites like prime wire, that must be in huge demand
However, there remains two huge holes with services like Netflix that will continue to ensure torrents live on.

1) Show availability - The number of TV series available remains severely limited. An on-demand service could easily provide entire back catalogs of the various networks, even those "ran one season" shows, but don't.

2) Shows appear and disappear - They finally get a show. By the time you get around to watching it, you find out it'll be gone at the end of the month or such.

The stumbling blocks that are both limiting available shows and as well how long they're available (there's no valid reasoning to removing a show on a service like this) will continue to be a plague to such services.

As opposed to torrents... once shows are downloaded, you have 24/7 access to them. And there's a much higher chance of a wanted show being available. Services like Netflix cater to the "most popular stuff" crowds, and while I watch a lot of those shows, there's a ton more that they don't and likely won't ever offer.

Intention here is to point out the problems with "legal streaming" services, not promote the torrent route. Though the current situation makes it impossible to do so.
I think they don't understand their market. Netflix isn't available in my country because of piracy, so we use piracy to obtain their product. If they look at their own stats, they would see that the best way to fight piracy is affordable availability.
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Posts: 19   +7
Well the thing is there are easier ways of getting movies now than torrents, like showbox & Kodi, I use them on my firetv, with kodi it's as easy as searching for a title and it find it in seconds and plays, just have to have the right app...


Posts: 52   +20
I haven't watched "tv"/cable in years, so I do not even know what's out there- and just do not care! In my area, if you're stupid enough to pay $100/120 a month for HSN, HSN2 and other "buy now" channels, 6 religion, 14 spanish (I do not speak a word, and guys dressed like clowns in biz suits with bleach blondes are funny? Really?), local broadcast, 15 infomercial (30 mins per show), 2 Cnn and Fox news (sieg heil y'all), and a bunch of ancient movie channels, gov channels, not to mention dozens of horrible rerun channels, then you are nuts. I torrent. I never am at a loss for something, and don't have to watch 18 mins of ads for 12 mins of Charlie Sheen reruns. If that's "piracy", then what exactly is the legal definition of making you pay (read: gouge)for 150 crap channels you will never look at to watch reruns on 5 or 6? THAT is piracy!