Netflix (and YouTube) now responsible for majority of US internet traffic
James R | On 15, Nov 2013
Netflix and YouTube are now responsible for the majority of US internet traffic, according a new report.
The research carried out by broadband company Sandvine shows that the Internet TV companies account for over half of the downstream traffic recorded in North America. Netflix dominates activity with 31.6 per cent of traffic, followed by YouTube with 18.69 per cent. Together, they make up more than half of all downstream traffic.
The story is the opposite for peer-to-peer video sharing services. In the past five years, Netflix has gone from DVD rental company to video on-demand platform, seeing its share of internet traffic shoot up. Piracy hub BitTorrent, meanwhile, has seen its share of activity plummet 31.76 per cent. It now accounts for 4.05 per cent of downstream traffic in America; a sure sign that making movies and and TV shows available to legally watch online helps to reduce piracy.
BitTorrent does account for the biggest portion of upstream traffic, although this is mainly because of its function as a peer-to-peer sharer. As for other legal services, iTunes accounts for 3.27 per cent, and Amazon Video 1.61 per cent, both ahead of Hulu on just 1.29 per cent.
How much traffic does Netflix account for in the UK? Well, according to Sandvine, Netflix makes up 20 per cent of downstream traffic on “certain fixed networks” in the British Isles. One-fifth of internet traffic is a sizeable chunk, although it pales in comparison to America’s 31.6 per cent. Then again in America, it took four years for Netflix to build up that market share. In the UK, Netflix has grown to 20 per cent under two years.