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Game Consoles Account for 66% Of Netflix Streaming

About two-thirds of the bits streamed by Netflix customers over the Internet are carried through a Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii.

That’s according to Sandvine’s analysis of data gathered from North American broadband service providers in March 2011, which found Netflix 29.7% of peak downstream Internet traffic and 22.2% of overall traffic (see Netflix Represents Nearly 30% Of Peak Downstream Internet Traffic: Study).

Another 19.55% of Netflix traffic goes to PCs — and the numbers fall off dramatically from there.

What’s more, Netflix subscribers who are streaming via game consoles consume 2.5 Gigabytes of data per day — close to double the overall average of 1.33 Gigabytes for all Netflix subs, Sandvine found.

Here’s the breakdown of Netflix streaming usage (by bytes) by device type, per Sandvine:

Source: Sandvine Spring 2011 Global Internet Phenomena Report

Note that an online survey by Nielsen conducted in March 2011 provided a breakdown of which devices consumers use to access Netflix and Hulu services, but did not ask about time spent viewing (see Study: Half of Netflix Users Connect Via Game Console).

Other interesting findings from Sandvine’s analysis of Netflix traffic:

* By June 2011, the average Netflix user in North America was projected to be consuming more than 40 Gigabytes of data per 30-day period.

* The peak hour for Netflix streaming is 10 p.m. overall, but 11 p.m. for users with game consoles.

* On March 28, Netflix introduced a feature for Canadian subscribers that let them reduce the quality of their streams, in order to help them stay under ISP usage caps. (The company has since introduced the option Stateside — see Netflix Now Lets U.S. Subs Degrade Video to Avoid Hitting Usage Caps.) Before the change, Sandvine found, Netflix traffic accounted for 13.5% of downstream traffic in Canada during the evening. After the change, Netflix traffic dropped substantially, to 5.7% of evening downstream traffic.

* About 33% of connected Xbox 360s are used to stream Netflix content.

* Service providers anecdotally told Sandvine about some areas where Netflix accounted for 55% of downstream traffic during the evening peak.


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