Netflix accounts for up to a third of the internet — but torrenting still dwarfs legal sites

Subscription video service accounts for a third of US and Canadian internet traffic in the evenings — but it’s yet to catch on as well in Europe

Andrew Griffin
Friday 21 November 2014 11:48

Netflix makes up as much as a third of the internet when people sit down to watch it in the evenings, according to a new report by Sandvine. But less legal ways of sharing videos continue to dominate the internet.

The service makes up more than 35% of American internet traffic at peak times (between 7pm and 11pm), more than 20% above its next competitor, YouTube. But Netflix, which is still expanding across Europe, only represents about 3.4% of traffic at the same time.

In both countries, file-sharing service BitTorrent is far bigger than Netflix. It accounts for 14.4% of all internet use in Europe, beaten only by YouTube’s 19.9%.

Amazon video is also starting to grow, with 2.6% of US peak internet use, but is still far below that of Netflix.

Even Netflix’s uploads are high — after torrenting, it is the biggest use of internet access going the other way — because it sends a lot of data back to Netflix when users are watching videos.

That means that the average home is using 20.4GB of data just watching Netflix.

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