Netflix, the popular online television and movie streaming service, was recently proclaimed “King” of North American internet use by the independent Canadian based broadband network research firm and provider Sandvine Corp.
In their most recent publication of the Global Internet Phenomena Report, a yearly report examining North American internet data trends, Sandvine has estimated that 29.7% of all internet downloading done during peak hours in North American households can currently be attributed to Netflix.
Peer-to-peer file sharing services and bittorrent technologies, which used to dominate the top rank of the report, have fallen back to second place. However, what it interesting is that those services did not see a decline in their user base, as relatively the same amount of bandwidth was used each month. Instead, these services were displaced from the top rank due to the growing popularity of Netflix amongst demographics which previously avoided using the internet for entertainment purposes.
According to the report, more than 10% of households in Canada are signed up to Netflix, which suggests that a growing number of families are abandoning traditional means of accessing video entertainment, such as by cable and satelitte, and are increasingly turning to the internet. Services like Netflix have helped break the stigma that streaming programs online is unreliable, slow and complicated.
Considering that the service offers relative ease of access, requiring little more than an initial sign up, users who fall outside of the sphere of the “tech savvy” are finally able to take better advantage of the internet.
Currently, video streaming, among all sources, accounts for approximately 50% off all internet bandwith in North America, and that number is expected to grow. As internet service providers scramble to meet the new demands for bandwith and prevent traffic congestion, one wonders if the rise of Netflix and similar services will begin to see spikes in traffic elsewhere in the world.
Should these services spread, Europe, India, China and other internet heavy areas of population might wish to start looking at updating their network infrastructure.
Article Via: Financial Post