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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags social mediamobileinternetsocial networkingvideomobile applicationsyoutubenetflixInternet-based applications and servicesSandvine

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

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?