While Netflix is currently suffering from the loss of over 800,000 subscribers, plenty of people are still streaming their service. The 2011 Sandvine Global Internet Phenomena Report noted that Netflix accounts for near 33 percent of peak Internet bandwidth.
Additionally, Netflix is North America’s largest consumer of Internet bandwidth, creating 32 percent of peak downstream traffic. Its video-streaming component is responsible for almost 28 percent of all bandwidth usage.
Real-time entertainment services like Netflix and YouTube drive the most traffic; video and music content create the heaviest bandwidth consumption. In 2011, 60 percent of peak period traffic came from entertainment, notably up from 50 percent in 2010 and 30 percent in 2009, while 96 percent of broadband subscribers used real-time entertainment each month.
YouTube has an audience of 83 percent of broadband subscribers, compared to 20 percent for Netflix. YouTube accounts for 34.5 percent of all videos streamed; Netflix represents just 5 percent.
There are some other notable differences between Netflix and YouTube; while viewers of the former are 77 percent more likely to watch through a connected TV, viewers of the latter spend 83 percent of their time watching on a PC. The median viewing time is also much higher for Netflix than for YouTube videos; 42 minutes versus 3 minutes.
Also noteworthy is the revelation the traffic is switching away from PC devices to things like consoles, smartphones tablets and connected TVs. Only 45 percent of Internet traffic on fixed networks goes to laptops and desktop computers.