SWIMMING UP THE STREAM

Netflix accounts for more than a third of prime-time internet traffic in North America

Obsession
Glass
Obsession
Glass

Just in case Netflix hadn’t completely established itself as a juggernaut, here’s more evidence of its all-consuming hold on consumers: The video-streaming company nets roughly 35% of aggregate peak-period internet traffic in North America, according to a new report.

Sandvine, a Canadian networking-equipment company, monitored a cross-section of the world’s leading fixed mobile communications service providers during September and October 2015. In set of findings announced today (Dec. 7) for online traffic consumption across North America, Africa, and the Middle East, Sandvine’s data illustrated Netflix’s total domination in North America—the service is well ahead of competitors like YouTube (which has 16.8% of aggregate upstream/downstream traffic), Amazon Video (2.9%), iTunes (2.6%), and Hulu (2.5%). BitTorrent, which accounted for 31% of total internet traffic in 2008, only accounted for 4.4% in 2015.

By comparison, Netflix had just 22% of North American internet traffic in 2011, according to Sandvine’s report from that year.

Netflix’s incredible growth can largely be attributed to a mix of smart business strategy and bold creative decisions. The success also comes hand-in-hand with world’s (and especially America’s) increasing appetite for on-demand entertainment. Sandvine’s report says 65% of aggregate online traffic in North America is currently from real-time entertainment—i.e., audio and video streaming—marking a significant increase from 49% in 2011.

Granted, streaming services take up much more data than social media sites and other popular online destinations, so online traffic reports reveal less about the company’s success than those dealing with other metrics. But Netflix’s staggering growth is solidly backed up by other measures, as well.

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