Netflix accounts for 1/3 of peak US bandwidth use

Posted by Mike Luttrell

If you needed another statistic to be convinced of just how powerful Netflix has become in the age of online video, here's one for you.

According to a new report from analytics firm Sandvine, Netflix manages to consume 32.7% of peak downstream bandwidth traffic in the United States.r

That number is up about 10% since the spring. This, in spite of the fact that Netflix just lost 800,000 customers in its most recent quarter, the first quarter where it did not post a wild increase in customers.

So it seems as though existing customers just continue to consume more and more online video, making up for the loss of customer volume.

"With so many Netflix-capable devices, the addressable market for the service is already enormous and will only increase, so it's hard to envision a scenario in which absolute levels of Netflix will decline," Sandvine wrote in its report, which is called the Global Internet Phenomena Report. Sounds important.

As if it needed to be said, this makes Netflix the largest Internet service in the country. HTTP comes in second place, and it's a distant second. That protocol only accounts for 17.8% of peak bandwidth use.

Youtube follows at 10% and then Bittorrent at 9%.

It's easy to see why Netflix thought it could mess with its subscription plans and not be too disrupted. It's a gigantic player in the Internet. But even it managed to eat some humble pie after the decision to spin off its DVD-by-mail program into a separate service blew up in its face.