Netflix accounts for 1/5 of US Internet bandwidth during peak hours

Netflix has come a long way from when it started as a simple DVD rental service. Later, the company branched into streaming movies and television shows, which has shown to be perhaps the most popular feature. The company has even removed the disc portion of streaming on the PS3 and Wii, so now users can simply just stream from all major consoles and not be tied to discs at all. 

A new study published shows that the effort placed into streaming and making a subscription-based movie rental service works. Sandvine, the bandwidth management equipment vendor, reported that "Netflix represents more than 20% of downstream Internet traffic during peak times in the U.S. -- and is heaviest in the primetime hours of 8 to 10 p.m."

Netflix also mentioned earlier this month in their Q3 2010 Financial Results press release that they have seen promising results in their streaming. In fact, the numbers have shifted to the average Netflix user watching more movies and television shows by streaming than watching DVDs rented from the service. Visiting the main site of Netflix shows that they are advertising a streaming-only subscription for $7.99 per month, down $2.00 from the ability to get DVDs, which can be had for $9.99 per month.

Switching over to a streaming company shows what people truly want, which is the ability to stream movies they want instantly and anywhere. As Netflix grows and supports more devices, perhaps the days of purchasing movies are winding down in favor of subscription models.

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no matter what the stats say... how can you stream 25 movies a month without even going overboard with your FOKEN BANDWIDTH CAP!

/rant

They need to add more of the latest movies alot of these are older movies, that I have already seem.

It's funby how a company is doing not just for themselves but also their customers with those great rates, then you always find that 1group of people talking on forums about a price plan and what not, then when the company implements it they cry foul blah blah, guys am glad netflix is doing great with the streaming but seriously don't jinx a good thing by talking about price hikes and certain amount of gigs per month or 25 movies per month, let's just enjoy what we have now and hush about prices cause we all know you will cry if they implement your not so bright idea

They need more content, so many movies I want to watch that are only available on DVD that I'd rather stream in and not wait for a disk. The quality of the pulls via a Wii if your using the component cable isn't that bad but it could be better. I'd like to see a HD feed at some point with a HDMI cable.

They still have a long way to go in their streaming library to be able to move primarily to that model, but over the years I've had Netflix it has improved by leaps and bounds. However it's primarily still all standard definition what they do have, and that's another thing that will need to be worked on. Though I'm in no hurry personally because I barely have enough bandwidth to handle the SD streaming. :: goes back to streaming Buffy ::

Just downloaded the new Wii Netflix channel today. It's really handy and while the movies aren't usually that current there are plenty to watch plus TV shows...

I love Netflix, I tried once just to see what it was like, I thought I would just cancel before the trial's end, but that was it, I got hooked, I used to rent movies on the PS3, but Netflix is way cheaper and easier than other methods.

I dont belive 1: This can be accurately calculated 2: That this Net Flicks site is so large for it to be true considering it isnt in alot of major markets 1/5 of american internet mabye.

Opps should have read it. Still first point stands.

ISPs and Content providers for the time being will promote and punish for services like this. Because they just can't decide which way is best to overcharge you with and the new fangled business model scares the established ones. It's moving along though. The next few years will be full of overpricing and false promises but will hopefully even out to flat rate unlimited data and media.

Well, lets not kid ourselves here. Netflix is smart and uses CDN distribution to push their content to edge networks so its less about "backbone" traffic and more about edge traffic in which case i'm sure Youtube et all is up there as well. Now of Netflix just peered and tried to bruteforce all this bandwidth then people would suffer. If anything this should showcase how Netflix has managed to do something right at an amazingly affordable cost. Kudos!

Last time I had a Netflix subscription, the movies from the major studios available for streaming were few and far between... Has the situation improved? I'm thinking of going back to it

Pharos said,
Last time I had a Netflix subscription, the movies from the major studios available for streaming were few and far between... Has the situation improved? I'm thinking of going back to it

The selection has improved vastly, however a lot of new movies don't show up on netflix instant watch but that may change as they promised recently internet distribution is their core focus.

Well then it's a good thing that streaming or cloud media is not taking off. I read in forums these loud opinionated posts that people would never leave their physical media behind. Imagine if they did! This number could be 4/5!!

So, YouTube and Hulu are what percentage? I have my doubts about this estimate. If those three sites are 60%+ (assuming they're roughly equivalent, and I wonder if YouTube is even higher) of all web traffic in the US, then I'd be pretty stunned.

pickypg said,
So, YouTube and Hulu are what percentage? I have my doubts about this estimate. If those three sites are 60%+ (assuming they're roughly equivalent, and I wonder if YouTube is even higher) of all web traffic in the US, then I'd be pretty stunned.

They are saying Netflix uses 20% ONLY BETWEEN 8PM TO 10PM, the hours that people watch TV the most. And more people are choosing to watch on Netflix. It's most likely that when these Netflix customers are watching a movie that they are not watching Youtube or Hulu at the same time.

ILikeTobacco said,
Sigh This is going to strengthen the arguments to let ISP's throttle what comes through...
With a little hope, maybe this will strengthen the internet backbone of the US. Its far behind many other countries (nowhere near the worst, but I don't even think its Top 5 despite being such a major world power).

Nagisan said,
With a little hope, maybe this will strengthen the internet backbone of the US. Its far behind many other countries (nowhere near the worst, but I don't even think its Top 5 despite being such a major world power).

The problem is that doing that requires the ISP's to spend money. Throttling what comes through not only prevents needing to upgrade but also gives a new means of charging more for the same thing.

ILikeTobacco said,

The problem is that doing that requires the ISP's to spend money.

If only there were some way the ISPs could obtain money from the people using their network...

ILikeTobacco said,

The problem is that doing that requires the ISP's to spend money. Throttling what comes through not only prevents needing to upgrade but also gives a new means of charging more for the same thing.
As much as they are charging in the US (compared to some other countries) I'm sure they are making more than enough profit to spend a little bit of it to make the network more robust.

Nagisan said,
As much as they are charging in the US (compared to some other countries) I'm sure they are making more than enough profit to spend a little bit of it to make the network more robust.

No one will argue that but you have to remember that an ISP is a business and they will always take the financially smart way first.

ILikeTobacco said,

The problem is that doing that requires the ISP's to spend money. Throttling what comes through not only prevents needing to upgrade but also gives a new means of charging more for the same thing.

Well if more people want the product I sell I wiil have to invest my profits and expand my factory capability; even without considering the option to raise the prices lack of availability would quite quickly cause a decline in sales.
Besides the prices in the US are much higher, and quality and average speed much lower than in Europe, already. Like it or not nowadays Internet has become a vital part of our society infrastructure and fall behind is not an option.

Fritzly said,
and fall behind THE COMPETITION is not an option.

I fixed it for you. The competition is very even in the US and because most communication companies are scared to grow to big and get broken up, they will move forward just as slow as the next guy.

ILikeTobacco said,

I fixed it for you. The competition is very even in the US and because most communication companies are scared to grow to big and get broken up, they will move forward just as slow as the next guy.

Actually "fall behind" was referred to the Nation not companies. In a modern society "infrastructures", being a strategic asset, should not be privately held.

Movies are eventually going to go this route anyway. Its easier for the company if they have no physical media to distribute, it removes all physical limitations (such as short supply and all) while making it easier for the customer as well (watch a movie when you want and how ever often you want).

I would gladly pay more for streaming service than I would the standard they ship movies to you and you send them back a few days later model that Netflix popularized if I watched more movies.

I'm still waiting on cable companies to offer TV over the internet/to your computer through a standard cat5 cable. No reason I shouldn't be able to get on my computer and watch the same thing playing on TV right now if I want considering they both come across the same exact wire.

Nagisan said,
Movies are eventually going to go this route anyway. Its easier for the company if they have no physical media to distribute, it removes all physical limitations (such as short supply and all) while making it easier for the customer as well (watch a movie when you want and how ever often you want).

I would gladly pay more for streaming service than I would the standard they ship movies to you and you send them back a few days later model that Netflix popularized if I watched more movies.

I'm still waiting on cable companies to offer TV over the internet/to your computer through a standard cat5 cable. No reason I shouldn't be able to get on my computer and watch the same thing playing on TV right now if I want considering they both come across the same exact wire.

It'll really suck though if for some reason your Internet connection was not going through, or their web service got down. Depending on the Internet for everything is not the way to go. Though having a web option is always great.

Quikboy said,
...Depending on the Internet for everything is not the way to go...

But that's like saying we shouldn't depend on electricity to power all of our appliances and devices. As it stands, it really does suck when the power goes out.
I think we totally should be able to depend on the Internet (or some future equivalent) for everything -- providers just need to step up the quality of service and reliability to that of any other utility.

Im with Zkid.

My whole house + my GF + 3 of my friends all share my netflix, we abuse the hell out of it.

Sikh said,
Im with Zkid.

My whole house + my GF + 3 of my friends all share my netflix, we abuse the hell out of it.

*sigh* and when they jack up rates because their use numbers don't match projected income, I'll have people like you to thank.

thornz0 said,

*sigh* and when they jack up rates because their use numbers don't match projected income, I'll have people like you to thank.

I'd imagine they'll lock it to one IP, at least temp. Banks do that with their websites all the time (and paypal) to prevent multiple logins.

ZenVenT said,
I'd imagine they'll lock it to one IP, at least temp. Banks do that with their websites all the time (and paypal) to prevent multiple logins.
They state very clearly that you can access it from 6 devices. Locking it down by IP would definitely go against their own limitations.

pickypg said,
They state very clearly that you can access it from 6 devices. Locking it down by IP would definitely go against their own limitations.

not really.. you can access it from 6 devices but do they say anything about you being able to access those devices simultaneously..

Lachlan said,
not really.. you can access it from 6 devices but do they say anything about you being able to access those devices simultaneously..
That's a fair point. I am honestly not sure if it mentions that.

However, limiting by IP when considering a household is pretty much moot. A router alone might simply let it work.

Lachlan said,

not really.. you can access it from 6 devices but do they say anything about you being able to access those devices simultaneously..

Yes, up to three simultaneously per account.

pickypg said,
That's a fair point. I am honestly not sure if it mentions that.

However, limiting by IP when considering a household is pretty much moot. A router alone might simply let it work.


It isn't limited by IP address, it is tied to the device itself (usually a cookie on the computer, and tied to a serial number on things like the Roku box and Wii).

thornz0 said,

*sigh* and when they jack up rates because their use numbers don't match projected income, I'll have people like you to thank.


You'll have no one to thank - sorry people use things they pay for!

zkid2010 said,
*raises hand* Yup, I'm part of that 1/5 If watching streaming movies is wrong, I don't wanna be right!

Ditto. Honestly, I'm surprised they aren't charging slightly more for unlimited streaming. I can see Netflix implementing a tier-like structure in the coming year(s) in order to hone in on their power users and balance out their usage vs price. $7.99 for say 25 movies a month? $9.99 for 50? Or perhaps they will go by GB used...either way, it will be interesting to see how things shape up.

They might actually want to get movies worth streaming before deciding to charge by GB. They could go back to the old days and give so many hours per plan. The more expensive the plan, the more expensive the streaming. I don't see that happening either. There are too many free alternatives.

I would be surprised if Netflix actually made up .005% of internet traffic. A company I worked for a little over a year ago sent TB over the net for video conferences and white board data shares on the hour, even in off hours.

bluarash said,
I would be surprised if Netflix actually made up .005% of internet traffic. A company I worked for a little over a year ago sent TB over the net for video conferences and white board data shares on the hour, even in off hours.

1/5 is 20%

bluarash said,
They might actually want to get movies worth streaming before deciding to charge by GB.
Agree with the part about having movies worth streaming. You can't stream premium just released on DVD movies, just movies that have moved to low demand for DVD rental, so they're mostly older movies. So I still get my one DVD for however long it takes me to watch it and return it. I get mine on a Roku, and I can rent DVD movies for $2.99 or so from Amazon and stream that for 24 hours.