Netflix, YouTube traffic on the rise, while peer-to-peer file sharing nears extinction, Sandvine finds

YouTube continues to be the largest source of Internet traffic worldwide

In a testament to the rise of on-demand entertainment, Netflix and YouTube now consume just over half of all downstream traffic in North America, while peer-to-peer file-sharing services continue to plummet, according to a new study.

Netflix, holding steady as the leading downstream application in North America, accounted for nearly 32 percent of all downstream traffic on fixed networks like home cable and DSL, said the study released Monday by Sandvine, a networking equipment company. Nearly 19 percent of downstream traffic was consumed by YouTube, the report said, which analyzed traffic from September.

Combined, the traffic increases nudge Netflix and YouTube across the 50 percent threshold for the first time ever, according to Sandvine. Recent previous tallies by the networking company, which are done twice a year, revealed Netflix and YouTube's downstream traffic to be inching ever closer to the 50 percent mark.

A year ago, for instance, Netflix and YouTube sucked up about 48 percent of all downstream traffic on fixed networks in North America.

Meanwhile, peer-to-peer file sharing -- services like BitTorrent and eDonkey that use a peer-to-peer group distribution model -- is decreasing sharply as a percentage of traffic. For the first time ever, total traffic for those types of services has fallen below 10 percent in North America, considerably earlier than what Sandvine predicted.

On-demand entertainment has consumed more bandwidth since 2009 than "experience later" applications such as peer-to-peer file sharing, Sandvine CEO Dave Caputo said in a statement. The company had projected that P2P file sharing would dip below 10 percent of total traffic by 2015.

The actual numbers seem to support that claim. The median monthly downstream traffic consumption was 15.6 gigabytes, according to the report, but the median rate for upstream consumption was only 1.2 gigabytes.

Netflix is also seeing healthy growth in other parts of the world, Sandvine's research revealed. The service accounts for over 20 percent of downstream traffic on certain fixed networks in the British Isles, less than two years after its launch. It took almost four years for Netflix to reach that rate in the U.S., according to Sandvine.

In other regions, YouTube continues to be the largest source of real-time entertainment traffic on both fixed and mobile access networks, according to Sandvine, making it the leading source of Internet traffic worldwide.

Sandvine expects the continued growth of streaming video and audio to support the emergence of longer-form video on mobile networks in 2014.

Sandvine's study was based on a cross section of its data from more than 250 customers.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesSandvinesocial networkingmobilenetflixsocial mediainternetvideoyoutubemobile applications

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?