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Report: Netflix Largest Single Source of Web Traffic

17 May, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The streaming beast that is Netflix just got bigger. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based service now represents nearly 30% of peak down streaming traffic in North America, according to a new report from Sandvine.

The Ontario, Canada-based online traffic management service said Netflix accounts for 29.7% of peak traffic, compared with 21% last fall. Noteworthy is that Netflix also bests file-sharing website BitTorrent (10.37%) and YouTube (9.85%).

Social networking site Facebook generated 1.91% of peak downstream traffic, while Hulu generated 1.09%.

Sandvine found that “real-time entertainment,” which includes video and radio streams, accounts for 49.2% of peak traffic, followed by file-sharing (18.8%) and Web browsing (16.6%), among others. The report forecasts that the real-time entertainment category will represent 55% to 60% of peak aggregate traffic by the end of 2011.

BitTorrent, which remains a favorite platform for user-based pirated content — despite efforts by the service to curb the practice — still dominates (52%) of peak upstream traffic.

“The dramatic growth of Netflix and its impending global expansion are prime examples of a growing appetite for real-time entertainment," said Dave Caputo, CEO of Sandvine.

Indeed, in Latin America, where Netflix is believed to next launch its streaming service, social networking (overwhelmingly Facebook) is a bigger source of traffic than YouTube, which represents nearly 14% of network traffic.

Real-time entertainment represents 27.5% of peak aggregate traffic, still the largest contributor of traffic in Latin America.


About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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