In North America, Netflix is now 29.7% of peak downstream traffic and has become the largest source of Internet traffic overall. 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%) Internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC's iPlayer is 6.6% of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localized content in many markets. Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans.
Sandvine's reports are an ongoing series of Internet phenomena and traffic analysis studies that have been published since 2002. The information in the Spring 2011 study is based on voluntary and anonymous data, aggregated from fixed and mobile service provider networks spanning Europe, Latin America and North America.