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Report: Netflix on consoles tops peak-hour bandwidth usage in North America

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During peak hours, Netflix streaming accounts for more North American downstream internet traffic than any other service. At 29.70%, it thoroughly beats HTTP (web) traffic, YouTube, and BitTorrent to top the chart, according to independent research by Sandvine Incorporated. 

Additionally, the report claims that game consoles account for 66.3% of that Netflix streaming, with the PS3 taking the biggest share, followed closely by the 360.

Though the statistic doesn't indicate population - HD movie streaming sucks up much more bandwidth than HTML pages - it does suggest that those dastardly cable TV providers are being well challenged, and that console owners really like Netflix... but we knew that. It's just a shame that we also buy internet service from those dastardly cable providers. Hmph.

"Even doubters (if there are any left) must now agree that the age of Internet video is upon us," reads the report. "Subscribers have clearly embraced the Netflix streaming service, fundamentally altering the Internet landscape."

Sandvine's figures represent North America's overall bandwidth usage, but according to the company, Netflix streaming accounts for as much as 55% of peak bandwidth usage in some areas.

It may not seem like a particularly big deal for us modern, spoiled, video-streaming scamps, but think back - Netflix streaming only took off a few years ago. YouTube is only six years old. Streaming video is becoming dominant very quickly, much like DVDs did. And remember what happened to VHS tapes?

[Source: Sandvine Incorporated via Gamasutra]

May 18, 2011

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10 comments

  • Curtis_Stone - May 21, 2011 7:30 p.m.

    I hope they don't raise the prices... They shouldn't make it so damn easy and keep adding stuff to watch!!
  • cart00n - May 19, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    Since I own both machines, and they're both early models, I prefer watching Netflix on the PS3 because it's quieter when it plays movies. That said, don't go betting against physical media just yet - while the DVD soundly trounced VHS, hi-speed internet still has a lot of inroads to consider before it'll beat the disc - there are millions of people living in small towns that have yet to be graced by cable, not to mention all the senior citizens who still haven't even gotten used to DVD... Pretty sure discs are gonna be around for a while...
  • FatherTime - May 19, 2011 3:31 a.m.

    Haha as I read this article I was streaming Futurama on netflix on my 360
  • alphaman - May 19, 2011 2:15 a.m.

    Given how much bandwidth is used for streaming (over say, torrenting) Cable companies better revise their "99% of customers won't even approach this limit" estimates. Of course, they won't. :/
  • linlijund - May 19, 2011 1:21 a.m.

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  • HaVoK308 - May 18, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    I prefer streaming Netflix via my 360. My iPad probably comes in second. I rarely use my PS3 though. I find it to clunky. Wii and PC get more Netflix use then my PS3.
  • Dman3981 - May 18, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    I heard that Blockbuster in America filed for bankruptcy and that it won't effect Canada but I know it wont be too long from now unfortunately.
  • Ensoul - May 18, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    "And remember what happened to VHS tapes?" They get given out as awesome prizes? I'm still annoyed by this online revolution. It's the future and all but I still like having something physical that doesn't need to be connected to the internet to play/watch. Plus like Tyler said "It's just a shame that we also buy internet service from those dastardly cable providers. Hmph." $
  • FauxFurry - May 18, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    Oh, yeah. Kinect (and Move, maybe?) can be used to browse Netflix on consoles. That has to go for something too, to be certain.
  • FauxFurry - May 18, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    There's something else left off of that semi-list that goes with DVD and VHS tape. It's made by Sony...not Beta-Max....Who-Ray? Is that right? Physical media looks as if it's going to soon become a specialty item for those who want to keep their movies or watch them in high definition no matter how weak or non-existent the internet connection may be at the time. Being able to watch an entire series that one may have just read about online without changing discs while leaving a video game in the tray is just too appealing for anyone to turn down right now. Only if movies someday are released on the same disc as their video game adaptations, this trend won't be reversing itself.

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