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Netflix, YouTube Account for 50% of North American Data Traffic
by Karl Bode 10:43AM Monday Nov 11 2013
According to Sandvine’s latest Global Internet Phenomena Report, Netflix and YouTube alone account for more than 50% of all Internet traffic across North America. The study, which compiles data from more than 250 ISPs, also noted that P2P's share of overall network data continues to plummet, with peer-to-peer filesharing falling below 10% of total North American traffic (down from 60% 11 years ago). Some additional bullet-pointed statistics from the latest report:

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•iOS updates accounted for 20% of North America Internet traffic on release day.

•In North America, the top 1% of subscribers who make the heaviest use of the network’s upstream resources account for 39.8 percent of total upstream traffic.

•Average monthly mobile usage in Asia-Pacific now exceeds 1 gigabyte, driven by video, which accounts for 50% of peak downstream traffic. This is more than double the 443 megabyte monthly average in North America.

•In Europe, Netflix, less than two years since launch, now accounts for over 20% of downstream traffic on certain fixed networks in the British Isles. It took almost four years for Netflix to achieve 20% of data traffic in the United States.

•Instagram and Dropbox are now top-ranked applications in mobile networks in many regions across the globe. Instagram, due to the recent addition of video, is now in Latin America the 7th top ranked downstream application on the mobile network, making it a prime candidate for inclusion in tiered data plans which are popular in the region.

•Netflix (31.6%) holds its ground as the leading downstream application in North America and together with YouTube (18.6%) accounts for over 50% of downstream traffic on fixed networks.

•P2P Filesharing now accounts for less than 10% of total daily traffic in North America. Five years ago it accounted for over 31%.

topics flat nest 

Tampa, FL


Even when I go to hotels. I watch Netflix instead of cable T.V. There just isn't anything on anymore that is interesting to watch.



50% of ALL traffic?

I would believe 50% of all networks with Sandvine gear or 50% of most residential networks but not 50% of all networks. There are far more than 250 ISPs in North America many of which focus on Business to Business where netflix usage is going to be much lower than 50%

I also have a hard time believing that P2P has dropped below 10% for all of North America.
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.

Snohomish, WA

Re: 50% of ALL traffic?

said by battleop:

I also have a hard time believing that P2P has dropped below 10% for all of North America.

Not dropped compared to previous volume, just eclipsed by the exaflood of video streaming.

A fair chunk of B2B traffic goes through the same carriers that are most likely to use Sandvine and other similar gear so it does not seem that far-fetched that Sandvine's sample is reasonably representative of what is out there at least in terms of IP traffic across those networks.

If you look at transit graphs on the largest internet exchanges, the patterns are more consistent with heavy residential use than business... the daily peaks are about 40% higher than noon volume and routinely occur between 6PM and midnight, well outside business hours.

Los Angeles, CA

Bet 90% of upstream usage from file sharing are torrents.

File sharing huh... Like what?



polls can be rigged

To achieve the desired result. You could ask any politician, but if you want the truth, ask a statistician.


New York, NY
·Time Warner Cable

Re: polls can be rigged

Even that can be dicey. Take Nate Silver of the now infamous Five Thirty Eight Blog for the NY Times. Statistician genius. He was pilloried as being an inexperienced quack mainly because he said the exact opposite of what the "real people" the "talking heads" of the Sunday talk shows were saying. His information was the opposite of their spin. They went after him big and after the elections he was almost 100% right on just about every race.


Detroit, MI

You would think...

The MPAA would appreciate that new revenue but no, they would rather have piracy up again with no revenue stream.
"I like to refer to myself as an Adult Film Efficienato." - Stuart Bondek

Binghamton, NY

20% of upstream for "real time entertainment"?

How does that figure?

Are they counting the TCP/ACKs from video streaming? I doubt that a significant number of consumers are streaming video from their houses.

If they're just counting ACKs then what does that say about the rest of the numbers? File sharing is only about twice the upstream bandwidth of TCP/ACKs for video streaming? I find that hard to believe.


Re: 20% of upstream for "real time entertainment"?

The "Real-Time Entertainment" category likely includes a handful of other things like streaming on Twitch.tv, video calls using Skype and other stuff like that.

Overland Park, KS

does this include encryption?

many clients use encryption and with vpn how can they tell what traffic is what
Brooklyn, NY
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Netflix traffic is 20x Amazon

Detailed breakdown here (I compared downstream): »news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-576117···traffic/

Color me surprised - I expected Amazon to have a smaller market share than Netflix but not that much smaller.




what does this mean?

In North America, the top 1% of subscribers who make the heaviest use of the network’s upstream resources account for 39.8 percent of total upstream traffic.

are they saying that top 1% of internet users account for almost 40% of the overall traffic?
Warner Robins, GA

1 edit

Re: wat?

I think yes. 1% of subscribers account for about 40% of upstream traffic. It makes some sense. Those internet users who have excellent upstream connections would be enticed to make much use of upstream communications. Only a very small percentage of the internet subscribers have such connections.