Blog Post

The Netflix Effect: Video Gobbling Up Internet Traffic

Web browsing has been displaced as the biggest use of North American fixed-line internet traffic in just two short years – video and audio streams now make up at least half of the total, according to Sandvine research….

In particular, Netflix’s movies and TV shows are now the single biggest user of peak-time internet bandwidth in the region, gobbling a third more bits and bytes than even the HTTP protocol over which web browsing occurs…

It underlines how the internet is evolving in to a platform for linear, bandwidth-intensive entertainment, as well as browsing and interactions.

Latin America and Europe are experiencing the same phenomenon but less so – in Europe, video and audio as a proportion of overall traffic has remained stable over the last three years; traffic there is dominated by Bit Torrent, HTTP and YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG), in that order, with the UK’s leading VOD service from BBC iPlayer making up 6.6 percent in Britain.

But the UK, Mexico and Brazil can expect the Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) effect, too, if reports about its planned international expansion are anything to go by. Just six months after launching its first non-U.S. service, in Canada service in September, Netflix already accounts for 13.5 percent of peak-time downstream traffic in that country, Sandvine says.

5 Responses to “The Netflix Effect: Video Gobbling Up Internet Traffic”

  1.  I have seen the effects of this. SuddenLink sent us a letter letting us know our internet usage had gone up dramatically and they wanted to make sure our account wasn’t hacked. Nope, we are all secure here, we just watch Netflix for $8 a month instead of paying SuddenLink $70 a month for shows we don’t watch.

  2. The ISPs want a piece of the netflix pie. Since they cannot directly charge for it now, what they can do is drop caps on us all. Those of us who really use Netflix are now paying overages each month. I don’t expect the ISPs to upgrade the networks anytime soon. Face it, you’re gonna pay for the internet service no matter what it’s speed. You have no choice.

  3.  Too bad that most broadband endpoint access is owned by a subscription television company (eg. Comcast, Time Warner, Charter, AT&T, Verizon).. They will use these numbers to justify charging a premium rate for Netflix (and similar) traffic under the guise that their bandwidth use is above the fare use that is defined in their agreement.  In reality, they will be charging a premium in order to offset the lost revenue..    

  4. mtcoder

    Soo…. the telecom should take the $60+  they are charging me a month and the millions they charge netflix for bandwidth and maybe expand their network capabilities? This is a pretty eh study, as well it is pretty common sense, with every home in the US owning at least one device that can stream netflix, and millions of them doing it. I do have to say though that netflix has nearly removed my need for provider TV. I can just about get away with watching air wave TV + netflix. So the telecoms best be gearing up. They got a free ride for a long time, and now it’s time to pay the piper and expand their pipelines. :)