In the fourth quarter of 2014 Netflix streamed 7.8 billion hours of videos. With an average quality of HD that brings the total data sent by Netflix to 24,021,900 terabytes in just 3 months. That is an astonishing 8,007,300 terabytes every month. This is impressive growth compared to the first quarter of 2014 where Netflix streamed 6.5 billion hours of videos and over 19,500,000 terabytes.
This all assumes people will stick with an average of 3GB an hour HD. If people start streaming in 4K the data per hour jumps to 7GB for every hour of 4k. That could increase the total data usage to 54,600,000 terabytes of data every quarter or about 18,200,000 terabytes every month using fourth quarter 2014 numbers.
In 2015 Netflix plans to come out with 320 hours of original content. If every subscriber watched every new original show and no other shows or movies in 2015 that would be 55,104,000 terabytes of data used to just watch Netflix new original content.
Breaking this data down by user means the average Netflix subscriber will stream 46.5 hours a month or 139.5 GB of data each month. (Please remember this is per subscriber not per person. Some subscribers represent a family of 4 or more people.)
How we got this data:
Netflix has been a little tight lipped about the total hours watched recently. (Maybe because of the pressure put on them by ISPs.) What we did find was the following statement in the Netflix Earnings Calling on January 20th 2015.
Rich Greenfield from BTIG Research asked “That must mean you’re closing in on two hours per subscriber per day if you’ve been growing consistently on a median basis?” In responses Reed Hastings CEO of Netflix said “We might hit numbers like that in peak times, like holiday period, but not necessarily sustain that over the whole year.”
So if 2 hours per users per day is the peak it is conservative to assume, 1.5 hours per day per user is a very safe number to work with based off of the 1st quarter numbers. That number times by the 57.4 million subscribers gives you the total numbers shown above.