Netflix now accounts for over a fifth of Internet traffic in the UK, according to a new report, as the legal streaming site almost ties with torrenting in Europe.
Research from Sandvine (via Digitaltveurope) reveals that Netflix now accounts for 4.82 per cent of downstream traffic in Europe during peak times – up from 3.44 per cent a year ago. That means the streaming site has grown to become the sixth biggest source of web traffic across the whole continent, not bad going given that there are many European countries without Netflix.
In the UK, the VOD service’s impact is even more striking: the site accounts for over 20 per cent of network traffic in UK and Ireland, says the “Global Internet Phenomena” report. The phenomenon is far from singular: in countries where Netflix has only recently launched, such as Austria and France, it is already responsible for 10 per cent of peak traffic.
Netflix isn’t about to sit on its streaming laurels, though: the company is already lining up new territories for another October launch, with Italy, Portugal and Spain soon to see their share of European web traffic gobbled up by box sets of popular TV series.
“This continued expansion makes it a realistic possibility that Netflix will be among the top three applications on European networks in 2016,” predicts Sandvine.
Only in the top three, you cry? That’s because Netflix has equally big competition to contend with, from YouTube (just over 24 per cent of European traffic – a whopping five times Netflix’s 4.82 per cent) and Facebook (7.56 per cent). Perhaps most revealing, though, is that Netflix is almost neck and neck with BitTorrent traffic (6.07 per cent), which highlights just how effective an affordable (and accessible) subscription-based model can be when attempting to combat piracy.
Sandvine also forecasts that filesharing traffic share has peaked in Asia-Pacific and will begin to decline significantly as more over-the-top (OTT) video services expand to the region.
YouTube, meanwhile, will be looking over both shoulders, as Amazon-owned Twitch has entered Sandvine’s top 10 for the first time in Europe. In the music streaming arena, meanwhile, the race is heating up between Apple Music and Spotify, as the new service surpassed its older rival in Australia and New Zealand.
“The impact that Netflix’s and Apple’s expansion has had on networks in Europe and Asia should attract the attention of operators around the globe,” says Sandvine CEO, Dave Caputo.
“With Netflix announcing their intention to expand to over 200 countries by the end of 2016 and Apple’s Music service gaining popularity, every operator will have to think about how to deal with the increased demand these services will place on their network.”