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Netflix Accounts for 33% of Peak Period Internet Traffic in US

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 19 comments

On-demand services like Netflix are supposedly reducing BitTorrent downloads.

On Wednesday, Sandvine released its latest Internet traffic trends report, "Global Internet Phenomena Report: 2H 2012", based on information gathered over a one-month period from a selection of Sandvine’s 200-plus customers spanning North America, Europe, the Middle East and more. The report claims that mean monthly internet data usage on North American fixed line networks has jumped 120-percent over the past year, increasing from 23 GB to 51 GB.

"There is only one digital network being built today and that is the Internet," said Dave Caputo, CEO, Sandvine.  "With a 120-percent growth rate there is no doubt that more communications service providers will be launching application-based pricing plans that provide cost certainty and a consistent quality of experience for high-demand applications. Understanding the application make-up of a network is a critical first step in launching new services."

Netflix is reportedly one of the biggest data hogs, accounting for 33-percent of peak period downstream traffic on North American fixed networks. Trailing behind the popular subscription service is Amazon with 1.8-percent of peak period downstream traffic, Hulu with 1.4-percent, and HBO Go with 0.5-percent. Over in Europe, YouTube is the biggest culprit, accounting for more than 20-percent of peak period downstream traffic on mobile networks.

"Audio and video streaming account for 65-percent of all downstream traffic from 9pm-12am and half of that is Netflix traffic [on North America fixed networks]," Caputo said. "Prioritizing real-time applications like live audio and video is critical to maintaining a high quality of experience.  Sandvine’s video quality metrics, including display and transport quality, will be key to understanding the impact of major events like the 2014 World Cup which will likely be the most streamed event in Internet history."

The report goes on to reveal that P2P file sharing via BitTorrent continues on a steady decline, accounting for 16-percent of total traffic in Europe and 12-percent in North America. In Asia-Pacific, where there are fewer paid over-the-top video services available, BitTorrent accounts for a hefty 36-percent of total traffic, the company said in the report.

Why the decline in file sharing? Threats made by ISPs and content owners could be part of the reason, but Caputo points to the rise in on-demand real-time entertainment services which will likely continue to help shrink BitTorrent usage down to less than 10-percent of the total traffic by the end of 2015.

To read the full report, head here. Registration is required.

 

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  • 8 Hide
    wanderer11 , November 8, 2012 2:34 PM
    amk-aka-PhantomAll because too many people are too lazy to keep their media local. It's funny how everybody rages over streamed content being blocked in work and school networks around my town... "Why can't I listen to music?!!!11" Why, you can! Just don't stream it. Observations showed that an average user would stream the same song at least three times, wasting 3x as much traffic as downloading it - and let's not forget they're "listening" to them off YouTube, which means music videos are included... An average user is getting more and more ignorant and stupid, wasting precious bandwidth on something they could store locally while they terabyte HDDs are sitting empty.

    Storing songs, movies, whatever locally involves buying it. The point of streaming is to not buy the media, but basically rent it.
  • 7 Hide
    rb420 , November 8, 2012 2:39 PM
    I guess I am a little above the average use, with 1.3-1.8TB being my monthly usage.
  • 3 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , November 8, 2012 2:45 PM
    amk-aka-PhantomAll because too many people are too lazy to keep their media local. It's funny how everybody rages over streamed content being blocked in work and school networks around my town... "Why can't I listen to music?!!!11" Why, you can! Just don't stream it. Observations showed that an average user would stream the same song at least three times, wasting 3x as much traffic as downloading it - and let's not forget they're "listening" to them off YouTube, which means music videos are included... An average user is getting more and more ignorant and stupid, wasting precious bandwidth on something they could store locally while they terabyte HDDs are sitting empty.

    From a network traffic perspective, of course it makes sense to store movies and music locally; a gig of memory on a 32GB Micro SD card costs like $0.63, while a gig of bandwidth on AT&T costs $10.00. Obviously wired internet costs less (but so do mechanical hard drives). But it's not always laziness that leads someone to stream instead of download; especially with video, streaming is how content providers are trying to retain control of their products. If you want to be a law-abiding citizen and watch something, you're probably going on Netflix or Hulu, and there's no download-once-watch-many option there.
  • 3 Hide
    waxdart , November 8, 2012 2:47 PM
    66% Prono, 1% real work. The internet is great.
  • 1 Hide
    whiteodian , November 8, 2012 2:47 PM
    I will give Netflix thumbs up. My service from them has always been pretty good. Comparing this to Hulu. Hulu always-always has to buffer/pause whatever during the adds at least once sometimes maybe a few times during one single ad. The show would play fine. However even the shows have been stopping recently. I switch to Netflix and all is good. I don't know if it is their servers being overloaded or what.
  • -3 Hide
    waxdart , November 8, 2012 2:49 PM
    waxdart66% Prono, 1% real work. The internet is great.

    PRONO ?? :(  sorry.
  • 1 Hide
    ahnilated , November 8, 2012 2:49 PM
    The media companies think we should just give them 100% of our paychecks for the privileged of them existing.
  • -5 Hide
    internetlad , November 8, 2012 3:31 PM
    obvious piracy.
  • 2 Hide
    rosen380 , November 8, 2012 5:31 PM
    rb420I guess I am a little above the average use, with 1.3-1.8TB being my monthly usage.


    That is 44-61 GB per day.

    Netflix SD uses about 2.2 Mbps = .000269 GB/s; with your usage that means you'd be streaming SD for 164000-227000 seconds per day. So 2-3 concurrent streams of Netflix SD content 24/7.

    720p? 36 hours per day, on average
    1080p? 21-29 hours per day

    Even if you are streaming 1080p 3D content, 1.3-1.8 TB a month, is still 10-15 hours every day.

    --
    If you were using that bandwidth to download high quality music files-- we're talking >11000 hours of music downloaded every month; for comparison, there are only 730 hours in an average month.

  • 6 Hide
    jazz84 , November 8, 2012 5:38 PM
    What's this? If you actually leverage new technology in order to provide consumers with a convenient means of legally viewing content, they'll stop resorting to mass piracy? Who'da thunkit? If only the copyright owners had past examples of how doing this could be profitable! Oh, wait...
  • 2 Hide
    Solandri , November 8, 2012 6:23 PM
    Quote:
    Netflix is reportedly one of the biggest data hogs, accounting for 33-percent of peak period downstream traffic on North American fixed networks.

    The term "data hog" implies using more than your fair share (as in, "stop hogging the blanket!"). That's not what's going on here. Netflix pays for its internet connection. North Americans pay for their Internet connections. If they want to use 33% of it streaming Netflix movies, that is their right - they paid for it.
  • -2 Hide
    rb420 , November 8, 2012 7:32 PM
    rosen380That is 44-61 GB per day.Netflix SD uses about 2.2 Mbps = .000269 GB/s; with your usage that means you'd be streaming SD for 164000-227000 seconds per day. So 2-3 concurrent streams of Netflix SD content 24/7.720p? 36 hours per day, on average1080p? 21-29 hours per dayEven if you are streaming 1080p 3D content, 1.3-1.8 TB a month, is still 10-15 hours every day.--If you were using that bandwidth to download high quality music files-- we're talking >11000 hours of music downloaded every month; for comparison, there are only 730 hours in an average month.


    I don't use netflix.

    Some 720p movie rips are 6-8GB each with DTS sound, some even larger with Avatar around 11 GB, Minority report 9GB, etc.

    1080p? 8-14GB for rips all the way up to 40+GB for full blu-ray images of a single movie.

    Just because you settle for inferior quality, doesn't mean the rest of us do.
  • 0 Hide
    rosen380 , November 8, 2012 8:01 PM
    Of course. Are there legit sites, similar to Netflix, that have movies at bluRay quality-- or when you say 1.3-1.8 TB a month it is that more illegitimate side of things?

    That range would get you one 40GB movie and hundreds of download every day plus 100-700 FLAC MP3s on top of that ...

  • 1 Hide
    alidan , November 8, 2012 8:45 PM
    its not that p2p is shrinking, its just that it uses less bandwith over all. people dont pirate 24/7 they get what they want and get out. lets say you get a game, its 20gb you get it, you get out, you play it

    while a netflix hd stream can take 1-2gb an hour and if you replaced your cable (i did) with stream services, thats a constant suck if you want background noise.

    you also have to take into account that pirates use codes that lower the overall bandwidth need, and will adopt faster than netflix and the like can roll out their own bandwidth saving codecs.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , November 9, 2012 12:57 AM
    Another reason for P2P decline is easy access to cheap movies such as Netflix and keeping it legal. Granted the advantage of P2P such as bit-torrent you actually get a copy of the movie to play from your hard drive.

    However, given the crappy movies being released for the past few years I'd be happy to stream the movie via NetFlix and if I like it buy a physical copy for better picture quality and sound.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , November 9, 2012 12:58 AM
    Another reason for P2P decline is easy access to cheap movies such as Netflix and keeping it legal. Granted the advantage of P2P such as bit-torrent you actually get a copy of the movie to play from your hard drive.

    However, given the crappy movies being released for the past few years I'd be happy to stream the movie via NetFlix and if I like it buy a physical copy for better picture quality and sound.
  • 0 Hide
    madjimms , November 9, 2012 1:20 AM
    alidanits not that p2p is shrinking, its just that it uses less bandwith over all. people dont pirate 24/7 they get what they want and get out. lets say you get a game, its 20gb you get it, you get out, you play itwhile a netflix hd stream can take 1-2gb an hour and if you replaced your cable (i did) with stream services, thats a constant suck if you want background noise. you also have to take into account that pirates use codes that lower the overall bandwidth need, and will adopt faster than netflix and the like can roll out their own bandwidth saving codecs.

    "pirates use codes to lower the overall bandwidth need"

    You just made yourself look like an idiot.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , November 9, 2012 6:58 AM
    madjimms"pirates use codes to lower the overall bandwidth need"You just made yourself look like an idiot.

    how?
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