In North America, Netflix is now 29.7 percent of peak downstream traffic and has become the largest source of internet traffic overall, according to a study by broadband equipment provider Sandvine. Currently, real-time entertainment applications consume 49.2 percent of peak aggregate traffic, up from 29.5 percent in 2009, a 60 percent increase.
Sandvine forecasts that the real-time entertainment category will represent 55-60 percent of peak aggregate traffic by the end of this year. In Latin America, social networking (overwhelmingly Facebook) is a bigger source of traffic than YouTube, representing almost 14 percent of network traffic. Real-time entertainment represents 27.5 percent 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 percent of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9 percent last fall. BitTorrent is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7 percent) and downstream (21.6 percent) internet traffic during peak periods. In the UK, BBC's iPlayer is 6.6 percent of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localised content in many markets.
Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans.