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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