A recent study from Sandvine showed that Netflix and Youtube combined used 48.93% of all bandwidth used in North America. Netflix was the leader at 34.89% and YouTube is in second place at 14.04%. Follow by Facebook at 2.98% and BitTorrent at 2.80%. iTunes surprisingly came in at only 2.77 and Amazon Video at 2.58%. HBO had a strong showing with 1% of all bandwidth used.
I think it wont surprise too many people that Netflix and YouTube use a lot of bandwidth. What may surprise many is that BitTorrent only accounts for 2.80% of all bandwidth. Dose this mark a decrease in BitTorrent use? The low usage from the increased availability of content on services like Netflix or is it from the fear of lawsuits.
It recently came out that Netflix used 19,500,000 terabytes in the 1st quarter of 2014. If that represents 34.89% of all data used in North America that means the internet moved over 50,000,000 terabytes of data in the 1st quarter of 2014.
These numbers do show why ISPs targeted Netflix for more money. (Not that I agree with that. It just shows they targeted the company using the most bandwidth first.) The question is how much of the data Netflix moved went over the backbone of the internet. With Netflix Open Connect program Netflix puts servers inside major ISPs to allow a direct stream close to consumers. The exact number of ISPs participating with this system and the location of these servers is unknown. Preventing us from guessing how much of this data is streaming over the backbone and between ISPs.
With the growth of cord cutting these numbers will continue to grow. Netflix and YouTube should quickly grow over 50% of all bandwidth used.