Sandvine Report: Netflix accounts for 20 percent of US downstream traffic during peak times

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SandvineIn the eighth annual report by Sandvine, an ongoing series of Internet phenomena & traffic analysis Sandvine has published since 2002, it reported Netflix's phenomenal 20% of downstream traffic during peak times which is heaviest between 8-10 p.m.

Wired reports on the Sandvine report:

Streaming media — real-time entertainment — accounts for 43% of peak period traffic in the U.S., according to Sandvine, which helps ISPs manage their networks and thus has access to buckets of information about usage patterns.
But Netflix alone accounts for nearly half of that between 8 and 10 p.m., and that usage comes from only 1.8 percent of the service’s subscribers.


Click here for full graphic.

Wired continues on streaming video:


Streaming video is the most bandwidth-intensive use of the internet, but there are plenty of other choices — starting with YouTube. So the dominance of Netflix, which only offers “studio” fare, would seem to indicate that there is an enormous appetite for profession programming delivered from the cloud.

Good news for Hulu, Amazon Unbox and even YouTube, should its movie rentals service gain traction. Better news for the content creators, assuming they can come up with a killer streaming revenue model and as if they needed any more proof that on-demand, internet delivery is the future.
This figure achieved by Netflix has certainly long term effects and implications for Cable TV and satellite TV, but if Internet delivery is the future, broadband service providers need to figure out how they can spread consumer usage more evenly throughout the day (see image above).


Other regional findings in the study are:

Regional Internet findings:

  • The Asia-Pacific region ramps up their Internet usage at 5 a.m. and their median monthly data consumption is close to 12 gigabytes per household compared to 4 gigabytes in North America
  • In Europe, zSHARE has become the dominant leader for storage and back-up services.  It accounts for 3 percent of downstream traffic during peak periods
  • Behaviorally, some subscribers in Latin America use the Internet the same regardless of a fixed or wireless connection.  For example, close to 1/3 of traffic on wireless and fixed networks is real-time entertainment such as YouTube or PPStream
  • Overall there is a wide variation between the amount of time Internet connections are active.  For example, in North America the average time a fixed connection is active is 3 hours, whereas in Asia-Pacific it's closer to 5.5 hours
In the press release by Sandvine, its president and CEO Dave Caputo, said:

“The Internet has a unique way of bridging international gaps and bringing people together.  Yet, interestingly, as we all plug into this international network to satisfy our social, professional and entertainment needs, our access patterns and online behaviors have become as unique as we are. The Internet is one single source that satisfies 500 million people, so it is no wonder that an average user does not exist.” 

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