For all the hand-wringing about how downloading of pirated material takes up bandwidth, or even downloading programs, etc. impacts Internet use, the real bandwith glutton turns out to be streaming video. Really, when you think about it, it’s not a surprise. But even then, it was a surprise to learn that every night, between 9:00 p.m. and midnight, audio and video streaming accounts for 65% of all bandwidth use, and Netflix accounts for fully half of that! That’s right, during those hours, Netflix accounts for one-third of all Internet traffic!
Network Policy Control experts Sandvine, in a report released late last year, said that “Netflix continues to dominate North American fixed networks with 33 percent bandwidth share.”
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Dave Caputo, CEO of Sandvine, which bills itself as a “leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators,” explained that “Audio and video streaming account for 65% of all downstream traffic from 9pm-12am and half of that is Netflix traffic [on North America fixed networks].”
Not only that, but within a 24-hour day, Netflix still accounts for 29% of all North American bandwidth usage.
By contrast, competitors Hulu and Amazon account for a paltry 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively, while YouTube uses about 13% of all North American bandwidth. For comparison, Facebook, which is still in the top 10 (at number 9) accounts for just 1.5% of all traffic.
Interestingly, in Europe and Asia, YouTube accounts for 20% of peak traffic, higher than in the U.S..
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