In the US, Netflix is now 29.7% of peak downstream traffic and has become the largest source of internet traffic overall, according to research from Sandvine.
Currently, real-time entertainment applications consume 49.2% of peak aggregate traffic, up from 29.5% in 2009 – a 60% increase. Sandvine forecasts that the real-time entertainment category will represent 55-60% of peak aggregate traffic by the end of 2011.
In Latin America, social networking (overwhelmingly Facebook) is a bigger source of traffic than YouTube, representing almost 14% of network traffic. Real-time entertainment represents 27.5% of peak aggregate traffic, still the largest contributor of traffic in that region.
In Europe, real-time entertainment continues a steady climb, rising to 33.2% of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9% last fall. BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol, is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7%) and downstream (21.6%) (see figure below for European figures).
Internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC’s iPlayer is 6.6% of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localised content in many markets. Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans.