Shackpets | Available on iOS and Google Play Store

Report: Netflix on consoles uses 20% of NA bandwidth

A study from an independent researcher claims that Netflix sees the highest percentage of bandwidth traffic, and consoles applications make up the largest chunk of that Netflix use.


Pop-quiz, hotshot: what uses more bandwidth in North America than any other single type of web content? If you cheated by reading the headline, you know the answer isn't funny cats, or even arguing with that one guy who's obviously wrong. No, according to a report from independent researcher Sandvine Incorporated (via Gamasutra), the late-night Dr. Who binges on your Netflix-equipped console are hogging the tubes.

The study claims that Netflix alone accounts for 29.7% of downstream bandwidth, and 24.71% of overall bandwidth. This is up from only 20.61% of downstream traffic in October. The three major home consoles each have their own Netflix-playing app, which makes up 66.3% of the overall Netflix use, meaning game consoles hit 19.7% of all web bandwidth. On average, console users consume about 2.5 GB per day via Netflix.

If you want fuel for your console wars, PlayStation 3 gets the most Netflix usage at 30.57%, followed by the Xbox 360 at 24.94%, Windows PCs at 19.55%, and Nintendo Wii at 10.75%. Though it is worth noting that, of all the services, the Xbox 360 is the only one that requires a paid subscription via Xbox Live Gold to access Netflix.

Other sources of web bandwidth are more-or-less what you'd expect. Web pages (i.e. funny cats, arguments) made up the next largest percentage (18.36%), then YouTube (11.04%), BitTorrent (10.37%), and flash video (4.88%).

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

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 18, 2011 3:20 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Report: Netflix on consoles uses 20% of NA bandwidth.

    A study from an independent researcher claims that Netflix sees the highest percentage of bandwidth traffic, and consoles applications make up the largest chunk of that Netflix use.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 3:26 PM

      I enjoy the Speed reference.

      The answer of course is "Shoot the internet."

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 3:39 PM

      I would'e thought P2P would use more bandwidth

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 3:44 PM

        P2P is so ten years ago

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 3:50 PM

        I dunno, a ton of people have netflix, and I'd say more people just want to watch television shows and movies on their TV than use P2P, put stuff on USB sticks, burn it to DVD, or hook a PC up to their TV.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 3:53 PM

        i am betting porn

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 3:55 PM

        How do they know the total bandwidth consumption of all BT in NA? There are tons of private trackers.

        • reply
          May 18, 2011 4:11 PM

          I don't think this research is done by looking at individual trackers but rather by measuring the type of data transmission on the ISP level.

          The information in the Spring 2011 study is based on voluntary and completely anonymous data, aggregated from fixed and mobile service provider networks spanning Europe, Latin America and North America. Sandvine’s global view, which includes over 220 service provider customers spanning more than 85 countries, makes the report the most comprehensive of its kind in the industry.

        • reply
          May 18, 2011 4:23 PM

          How much bandwidth do private trackers use vs. public? I'm going to guess the latter is many magnitudes greater.

          • reply
            May 18, 2011 9:37 PM

            i think you're way off

          • reply
            May 18, 2011 11:09 PM

            I wouldn't really doubt that, but
            a) I'm really looking for how they got their data
            b) it's not good to make assumptions in a study, especially when making broad claims

          • reply
            May 19, 2011 8:16 AM

            if you put them all together, you might be surprised.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 3:49 PM

      How do you classify Arguements? Does Shacknews take a piece?

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 4:41 PM

      That's just crazy.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 6:11 PM

      people will buy a good product that is priced correctly. If only the RIAA would learn this.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 6:29 PM

        Very true. Even though the selection in Canada isn't particularly good the price makes it unbeatable. 8 dollars is nothing.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 7:57 PM

        Do you not see all of the $5 Amazon MP3 albums every week?

      • reply
        May 19, 2011 5:49 AM


        We want to pay for convenience, not for inconvenience. Netflix gets this. DRM doesn't.

      • reply
        May 19, 2011 7:49 AM

        You speak the truth.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 9:20 PM

        Why is this written as if CDNs doing this aren't extremely common?

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 9:39 PM

        well, wait? so he only classifies internet backbone traffic as "true" internet traffic" the stuff from the backbone to your house, that's the internet too, right? why shouldn't it all count? as if the data from netflix's cached content servers 50 miles from your home doesn't count as "internet" data.

        • reply
          May 18, 2011 10:06 PM

          Because he writes articles on the internet

        • reply
          May 19, 2011 7:53 AM

          Come on, his article is clearly written to help alleviate fears that backbone bandwidth isn't being crowded by netflix traffic

          "That episode of Battlestar Galactica you watched last night did not travel across the entire Internet backbone from Reed Hastings’ office to your living room. It probably only traveled a few miles or so. Netflix tries to minimize its presence on the true Internet backbone."

      • reply
        May 19, 2011 6:45 AM

        thats dumb

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 9:40 PM

      very interesting numbers there.

    • reply
      May 19, 2011 8:03 AM

      ya that'll dip dramatically once canadians realise there's not a lot of good content to watch on netflix canada. one new movie a month aint cutting it

      • reply
        May 19, 2011 8:05 AM

        Why don't you man up and get a virtual credit card and a us netflix account + a vpn if you are so concerned about canadian netflix content? You guys complain about this shit but don't do anything to deal with it. It's not rocket science to address. Yes it sucks, but that's the fault of licensing bodies, not netflix.

        • reply
          May 19, 2011 8:14 AM

          I'm just not man enough to have a US account. that shits for closers

      • reply
        May 19, 2011 8:07 AM

        uhhh they have pootie tang

    • reply
      May 19, 2011 8:08 AM

      Hmm, Sandvine, that name sounds familiar...

      "Readers might want to take these findings with a grain of digital salt. Sandvine provided the deep packet inspection technology that Comcast used back in 2007 and 2008 to slow down BitTorrent (the ISP then switched to a "protocol agnostic" network management system). Not surprisingly, the document comes with oblique advertisements for the company's network management services. "

Hello, Meet Lola