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How Netflix Eats the Internet

timothy posted about a year ago | from the my-what-big-eyes-you-have dept.

The Internet 303

pacopico writes "Every night, Netflix accounts for about one-third of the downstream Internet traffic in North America, dwarfing all of its major rivals combined. Bloomberg Businessweek has a story detailing the computer science behind the streaming site. It digs into Netflix's heavy use of AWS and its open-source tools like Chaos Kong and Asgard, which the Obama administration apparently used during the campaign. Story seems to suggest that the TV networks will have an awful time mimicking what Netflix has done."

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Is Netflix (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677647)

Basically taking advantage of an infrastructure it doesn't pay for?

Re:Is Netflix (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43677665)

No, they pay their ISP bills like everyone else.

Re:Is Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677737)

ISPs only have so much capacity to sell though.

Re:Is Netflix (5, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#43677769)

And we are paying for that downstream bandwidth. Netflix, I'm sure, pays an insane amount to their ISP for the bandwidth they use.

You are using the same logic that AT&T used when they wanted their "google tax".

Re:Is Netflix (5, Interesting)

Xipher (868293) | about a year ago | (#43677871)

Actually Netflix is trying to get past transit ISPs as much as possible via peering [netflix.com] . Provide free peering and caching appliances to ISPs, they get their content closer to the customer, and cut down their transit costs.

Re:Is Netflix (3, Informative)

hoxford (94613) | about a year ago | (#43678159)

Just like Akamai and others were doing 13 years ago...

Re:Is Netflix (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#43678213)

Netflix paid Akamai to do this for them, although I believe they changed from Akamai last year (I am not sure if they went with another vendor, or if they started doing it themselves).

Re:Is Netflix (3, Informative)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#43678255)

Which is why distributing through AWS also makes sense. Tumblr and others do the same thing. It's called: most efficient CDN you can construct. And with luck, it will eat Comcast/xFinity's lunch, along with a long list of broadband cable provider's meals. Yes, you still need the last mile. No, you don't need the goofy TV signal infrastructure at 720p on a good day. Free your cable: use all of the bandwidth for packets.

Re:Is Netflix (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678083)

And we are paying for that downstream bandwidth. Netflix, I'm sure, pays an insane amount to their ISP for the bandwidth they use.

You are using the same logic that AT&T used when they wanted their "google tax".

If Netflix is smart, they'd would hook into various Internet exchanges to reduce their transit/ISP fees.

If the last-mile ISPs were smart, they'd install Netflix's appliance locally and reduce their bandwidth:

https://www.netflix.com/openconnect

Re:Is Netflix (5, Interesting)

_KiTA_ (241027) | about a year ago | (#43677783)

ISPs only have so much capacity to sell though.

And Netflix is buying what ISPs are selling. And more importantly, Netflix's customers are buying their connections.

I hear this every so often since I used to work at an ISP. Basically the ISPs are longing for the days where they could sell a grandma a 10 meg connection for $100 a month and watch her use 100kb of bandwidth a day when she checks her email and looks up recipies.

Granted, we do have a problem with network saturation, where ISPs sell product they do not own, but that's their own fault, not Netflix nor their customers.

Re:Is Netflix (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about a year ago | (#43678073)

I agree. To create an analogous situation with something other than Internet service, imagine Microsoft started going around to every business running Windows/Exchange, saying, "Hey, we deserve some of your profits. You're using our products to make money, and it's totally unfair that we don't get a cut." That'd be ridiculous,right? Microsoft offered a product, and you bought it according to their terms. If you think they deserve a percentage simply because you use their product to make money, then where does it end? Why can't 3M come after you for a percentage because you use post-its.

Even in talking about Internet service, why aren't ISPs going after every company with a website? I work for a company with a website, and we get business through the internet. We use our Internet connection to conduct our business. Should our ISP be able to come after us for a percentage of profits, just because we make money by using out Internet connection?

No. We pay for out internet connection. We pay for our hosting. Our customers pay for their internet connections. That's all the ISPs can lay claim to: the charges for providing Internet service.

Really, the only difference with Netflix is they end up being a competitor to ISPs who also provide Cable service. Well boo-fricking-hoo.

Re:Is Netflix (3)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43678297)

Really, the only difference with Netflix is they end up being a competitor to ISPs who also provide Cable service. Well boo-fricking-hoo.

+100 Internets to you good sir.

Re:Is Netflix (2, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about a year ago | (#43678339)

imagine Microsoft started going around to every business running Windows/Exchange, saying, "Hey, we deserve some of your profits. You're using our products to make money, and it's totally unfair that we don't get a cut." That'd be ridiculous,right? Microsoft offered a product, and you bought it according to their terms. If you think they deserve a percentage simply because you use their product to make money, then where does it end? Why can't 3M come after you for a percentage because you use post-its.

Well they did do something analogous to this when they were doing site licensing. I don't know if they still get away with the practice but at one time they charged a per desktop license fee. Not a per installed copy mind you...they quite literally charged per machine on the premises and it did not matter if it was running a MS product or not. If the entire marketing dept. was using Macs they still got charged for a Windows license for every Mac. Engineering group all running on Sun Sparc? doesn't matter they all get charged a license.

Re:Is Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678483)

Did they charge for each postage machine too? Or did these companies simply over-report their desktop count because they were cautious or planning for near-future expansion (or just lazy/incompetent)?

Per "machine" wouldn't stand in court. Neither would per-computer-whether-it's-running-our-product-or-not. And an unenforceable contract is worth the price of the paper it's printed on.

Re:Is Netflix (5, Insightful)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#43677805)

So they should raise their prices then?! Or maybe put down some more pipes?
If an ISP has a problem with its customers using bandwidth, they really have three options:
1) Raise prices per/MB; 2) Get more bandwidth; 3) Get rid of customers who use a lot of bandwidth. It seems that many ISPs want to do only 1 and 3, where the logical thing is to do 2 (because bandwidth usage will only increase in the future, and and ISP that can provide it, will have an edge of those that can't).

Re:Is Netflix (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43677957)

Precisely, commercial bandwidth is one of the few areas where capitalism seems to be working. The price has come down substantially over the last decade. If they can't afford to provide what Netflix needs, then they should raise the rates and build out the infrastructure.

Problem solved.

Re:Is Netflix (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678063)

Precisely, commercial bandwidth is one of the few areas where capitalism seems to be working. The price has come down substantially over the last decade.

Don't confuse capitalism and technology. The price has come down even more in some less capitalist countries.

Re:Is Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678441)

Try getting premium bandwidth in a datacenter. A lot of local providers want to charge $80 per 1Mbit/sec per month. $8000/month for 100Mbit seems insane.

Re:Is Netflix (1)

Shaman (1148) | about a year ago | (#43678449)

FYI, 1 and 2 are mutually inclusive.

Re:Is Netflix (3, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#43677877)

It helps if you upgrade your equipment, rather than look for the world's greatest ROI on 10 Mb hubs...

Re:Is Netflix (5, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | about a year ago | (#43678275)

I run a small hobby ISP and I can have effectively as much bandwidth as I'm willing to pay for, or rather, as much as my customers are willing to pay for.

As a somebody selling internet access, I love Netflix and any other online service that give my potential customers a chance to blow through the incumbent telco's artificially low transfer caps (I don't put caps on my service). I can't think of another business where the typical vendor prefers that his customer use less of the product he sells. It makes no sense to me.

Netflix used 1/3 of Internet's BW on DVD-by-mail (5, Funny)

billstewart (78916) | about a year ago | (#43678415)

Back in the old days, when Netflix worked by mailing physical DVDs, their bandwidth was about 1/3 of the total bandwidth of the Internet. They had a much higher latency (~48 hours), but a huge amount of parallelism and 4GB packet sizes.

Re:Is Netflix (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677751)

What a stupid comment -- especially for someone highjacking my /. name.

Re:Is Netflix (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43677767)

Basically taking advantage of an infrastructure it doesn't pay for?

If anything(given that buildout is expensive, and keeping a run of either copper or fiber maintained and backhoe-free isn't free), Netflix is, in addition to paying its bandwidth bills just like everybody else, providing the rather valuable service of giving millions of customers a reason to buy more bandwidth.

Given the steady advances in cramming bits over lines, even shitty legacy copper, the more bandwidth your customers want to buy, the more bandwidth you get to sell per fixed-cost(rights of way, keeping the lights on at HQ, dudes in bucket trucks, etc.)

Re:Is Netflix (2)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a year ago | (#43677811)

Is Netflix basically taking advantage of an infrastructure it doesn't pay for?

Nope. I'm taking advantage of an infrastructure that I pay for. I apologize for not contributing more to the CEOs of America, but I'm sure they'll find a way to get their money on my cash, one way or another.

Netflix should then be on... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43678169)

Internet2. That would have the bandwidth to do everything they need.

Still not good enough for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677649)

There is still too much content I want that Netflix does not have available for streaming, making it not worth the price.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43677687)

I feel that way about cable.
Too much content I don't want, advertising, and shows are played via some schedule instead of streamed when I want. Sure there are workarounds like DVRs, but that is just a bandaid on a huge gaping wound.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (2)

ndavis (1499237) | about a year ago | (#43677793)

I feel that way about cable. Too much content I don't want, advertising, and shows are played via some schedule instead of streamed when I want. Sure there are workarounds like DVRs, but that is just a bandaid on a huge gaping wound.

I love the DVR you pay the cable company more each month so you can watch shows when you want because they like money!

This is why I cancelled cable TV and purchased a $40 antenna for my house and now use Amazon Prime for streaming service.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (3, Informative)

Digicrat (973598) | about a year ago | (#43678283)

I love how the cable companies (ie:Comcast) can call me up offering me a Cable/Internet package for $70/month, only $5 more than what I nominally pay for Internet only ... but flat out refuse to tell me what the actual cost would be after taxes/fees (I was literally told that I should sign up and can cancel it after the first month if I don't like what the taxes are). I'd gladly pay an extra $5-10/mo for full cable TV access ... but in reality it's more like 20-40 after taxes and fees (which largely don't apply to Internet-only service). /rant

And those are additional reasons why Netflix+Antenna+MythTV > Cable TV

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43677859)

I feel that way about cable.
Too much content I don't want, advertising, and shows are played via some schedule instead of streamed when I want. Sure there are workarounds like DVRs, but that is just a bandaid on a huge gaping wound.

well imagine if the content on netflix what americans had on cable in 2006 and you'll have nordic netflix! like 3 seasons of mythbusters! WHEEEE!

(yeah I should stop being lazy and cancel my sub, the reason for the poor 3rd party content on the netflix over here is that the americans who own the shows sold 'em on exclusivy deals to the domestic networks over here.. so netflix doesn't have rights to show 'em..)

Re: Still not good enough for me. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678141)

mediahint.com

Re:Still not good enough for me. (0)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about a year ago | (#43677903)

A agree 200%. I broke AT&T's flowchart when they tried to save me as a cable TV customer. They didn't get the concept that cable TV was old and antiquated. In fact the rep was so confused that she had to get her manager. Now with Google Fiber coming to town, their Internet will be old and antiquated. It's like they just want to roll over and play dead.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (3, Interesting)

superslacker87 (998043) | about a year ago | (#43677955)

I pay for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, NHL Center Ice, and per episode subscription for the few TV shows that I consider not worth waiting for to have the season released for "free" to the aforementioned services when they are not available on Hulu. I still save more doing it this way than I would spending money for over 1000 channels I have no desire to pay for or watch.

When the Stanley Cup finals are blacked out (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43678251)

I pay for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, NHL Center Ice

What do you do for NHL games that are blacked out of NHL Center Ice because they are shown on national or regional cable television? Last year the freaking finals were shown on what is now NBC Sports Network, a cable channel.

Re:When the Stanley Cup finals are blacked out (1)

superslacker87 (998043) | about a year ago | (#43678335)

I live in Nebraska and follow the Bruins. During the regular season, if they are on NHLN or NBCSN, I usually just suck it up and don't watch unless I'm somewhere they're playing it in a restaurant. Right now, I'm listening to the games via Internet radio. Rest assured, if they get to the Finals, I'll be in a sports bar watching every game.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677717)

Nobody cares.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about a year ago | (#43677763)

There is still too much content I want that Netflix does not have available for streaming, making it not worth the price.

So you're not even counting towards that 33.33% of traffic. But a lot of people do and they are *paying* for this content.

Lots of demeritz to Starz, who started this "we're toooooo posh for Netflix" and now the other MAFIAA outfits Warner Bros. and MGM and Universal [techdirt.com] that will drive people to pirate their content.

If they think that people will subscribe to 10 different "streaming sites" like they do "cable packages", they are insane.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

kwerle (39371) | about a year ago | (#43677869)

If they think that people will subscribe to 10 different "streaming sites" like they do "cable packages", they are insane.

The sad thing is that they already do. Folks are used to paying multiple providers for content - and/or paying those providers for multiple packages. I don't think the internet will end up being any different.

Sad, but I'm afraid that's the way it's gonna go.

Hell, how many people have huge numbers of streams replacing what used to be the telephone? Email, twitter, facebook, their cell phone, their landline, text messages, etc.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43678001)

The main reason that my parents still have a satellite is sports. MLB sells their online package, but you can't see local market games on it until after the point where it's worth watching. The price is reasonable, but because it's only really useful for seeing out of market games, it's not something that somebody who likes the home team is likely to be able to get much use out of.

Personally, I don't really care, I rarely watch new programming and when I do, I'm willing to wait a week to see it online.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677891)

If you're not on Netflix, you're not in business.

Everyone I know has Netflix. It has become like having a Facebook account and a Gmail address.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678085)

I have Netflix, but I have neither a Facebook nor a Gmail account. So, what's your point?

Re:Still not good enough for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678395)

Apparently that you are very lonely.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43677901)

They can think that all they want. Not gonna happen.

I can always wait for DVDs.

Blackouts (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43678273)

I can always wait for DVDs.

Including DVDs of sporting events that are blacked out of the league's online service because they are shown on national or regional cable?

Re:Still not good enough for me. (5, Interesting)

edawstwin (242027) | about a year ago | (#43677881)

$8 is less than the cost of a matinee movie, and that's too much to pay monthly for potentially thousands of hours of video?

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43677943)

I can't imagine running out of stuff to see on Netflix, but then I only watch about a half hour or so of TV a day. Don't get me wrong, I still waste brain cells via internet instead of the boob tube... it's just that I find Netflix to be cavernous in terms of content.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43678013)

Yes, but for $8 a month you can get access to the entire DVD catalog, so $8 for the streaming library which is tiny comparatively speaking is way too much money.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678153)

There's no DVD slot on my iPhone, or my wife's iPad mini.

Add a DVD slot to your Mac (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43678301)

You appear to be in an Apple household. There's a DVD slot on Macs until very recently, and even if not, you can add a DVD slot by buying a USB DVD burner for about $30 on NewEgg.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

edawstwin (242027) | about a year ago | (#43678225)

With streaming, you're paying for instant access. Yes, you can get any DVD from them for $8 a month, and you have to wait, at minimum, two days after you select your title, to arrive. Then you have to return it before they'll ship another. That's a big inconvenience compared to streaming. I also am on the DVD plan, but I consider it a nice addition to streaming, not the main draw. If you were just on the $8 DVD plan, you could, at most, watch about 40 hours a month (a four hour TV disc every three days). With streaming, you can watch a significant portion of their catalog 24/7 all month. The value there is enormous.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43677947)

Such as?

Four failures on Netflix (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43678413)

Such as sports. If I were to replace cable TV with Netflix and NHL Center Ice, games shown on national or regional cable TV would be blacked out.

To be fair, let's limit it to scripted works more than a decade old. According to CanIStream.it, Netflix doesn't have the film Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night, the film Song of the South, the film Secret of the Incas, or the TV series Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43678287)

There is still too much content I want that Netflix does not have available for streaming, making it not worth the price to me, but I'm just one person whose opinion doesn't mean anything at all in the grand scheme of things, and certainly doesn't add anything to this discussion.

FTFY.

Re:Still not good enough for me. (5, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#43678411)

I'll readily grant that Netflix, just like pretty much every other service ever created, is not necessarily for everyone. Particularly if you're into sports or want to watch stuff as it comes out, Netflix is probably not for you. But for those of us who prefer to wait until a show is a few seasons in or entirely completed before we even pick it up, Netflix is the best thing since P2P.

In contrast to cable plan I cut even before I started with Netflix, I now have:
1) Orders of magnitude more things to watch right now, and more of it in 1080p.
2) A subscription that costs 25% of what I used to pay ($8 vs. $30).
3) An ability to watch video while away from home.
4) No need to purchase/rent a separate device to timeshift or store content.
5) The ability to watch shows a season at a time without having to store that content or plan doing so in advance.
6) Recommendations that are actually really good for stuff I haven't seen yet.
7) No more commercial breaks or wasting time watching intros/credits on TV series.
8) No hidden fees, great customer service, and no contract.

Again, it's not for everyone, and for many people the best it can be is a supplementary service that may allow them to reduce the amount they spend elsewhere or else add some extra content that they couldn't get otherwise, but for many people, it can add a LOT of value over what cable has to offer while still being significantly cheaper.

But that begs the question... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677661)

Is it tasty?

Re:But that begs the question... (1, Informative)

MatrixCubed (583402) | about a year ago | (#43677941)

Of course. The internet (not unlike everything else) tastes like chicken.

Just like eating an elephant (5, Funny)

Joehonkie (665142) | about a year ago | (#43677713)

One byte at a time?

Don't worry about the networks... (5, Insightful)

MitchDev (2526834) | about a year ago | (#43677761)

They'll use their bought and paid for congress critters to get Netflix legislated to death and use their industry connections to get even more content taken away from Netflix to keep them under control...

Re:Don't worry about the networks... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678017)

I wish there was a "sad but true" mod.

Re:Don't worry about the networks... (5, Insightful)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about a year ago | (#43678051)

You underestimate the power of Netflix and the demand that customers have for it. Networks will adapt, or die. Sure, they might adapt in a way we don't like (I.E. putting out their own slightly worse version where they can still sell advert space like Hulu) but video streaming, on demand, is here to stay.

"You can't stop the signal." ~ Mr. Universe.

Re:Don't worry about the networks... (4, Interesting)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#43678299)

You underestimate the power of Netflix and the demand that customers have for it.

Many do...it was a wakeup call for the cable/satellite operators when Disney signed with them. Disney is one of the kings of content...and they see something more valuable in Netflix than their current (soon to be previous) contract with the Starz cable channel. Netflix charges 8 dollars a month for offering more content than many people who pay 100 dollars a month get from their cable subscription.

Live sports and live political talk shows (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43678445)

Netflix charges 8 dollars a month for offering more content than many people who pay 100 dollars a month get from their cable subscription.

One household in my survey sample keeps cable TV around for NCAA football, NFL, NHL, and UFC. Another keeps cable TV around for MSNBC. Netflix doesn't offer such live programming.

Re:Don't worry about the networks... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#43678067)

and use their industry connections to get even more content taken away from Netflix to keep them under control

"Industry connections" aren't stupid - if Netflix offers a better deal, they're going with Netflix. If those "connections" do decide to be stupid, they do so knowing full well there's raftloads of independents snapping at their heels.

The TV networks have had an awful time adapting fo (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677765)

Comparing TV networks to Netflix is like comparing an ancient Spartan soldier to a modern, fully armed, US Marine.

Re:The TV networks have had an awful time adapting (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43677883)

If I've learned anything from Sid Meier, it's that spearmen are damned tough bastards to beat when they want to hold their ground.

Re:The TV networks have had an awful time adapting (3, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43677987)

He learned that from the British. [wikipedia.org]

Re:The TV networks have had an awful time adapting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678123)

Or, after you've pounded the opposing civilizations into the dust, they have one city left with "one" population, then they produce a "warrior" unit that takes out your stealth fighter. WTF?

Re:The TV networks have had an awful time adapting (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43677915)

Comparing TV networks to Netflix is like comparing an ancient Spartan soldier to a modern, fully armed, US Marine.

You give the TV guys far too much credit. Your hypothetical Spartan soldier would, of course, be doomed by inferior technology; but it is unlikely that he would resort to petulant litigation or pernicious lobbying.

Re:The TV networks have had an awful time adapting (2)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about a year ago | (#43678095)

You realize you're talking about Grecian society that quite literally gave us those things, right?

Re:The TV networks have had an awful time adapting (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43678151)

I'm pretty sure that Athens did a lot more of the heavy lifting on that side of things. They also had perks like 'culture' and 'occasionally not existing in a state of total war'; but their legal and political shenanigans are quite legendary.

Re:The TV networks have had an awful time adapting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678419)

Comparing TV networks to Netflix is like comparing an ancient Spartan soldier to a modern, fully armed, US Marine.

You mean the Spartan soldier that will sneak around, hide, and then throw a spear accurately to kill before the marine even knows where he is? Because Spartan soldiers were pretty good at that.

I heard other numbers (4, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43677777)

I just heard another news story that said it's 3% of all internet traffic in the US at night. That's a pretty big discrepancy. Given all other services like youtube and Hulu and all peer to peer, I seriously doubt it's 1/3. It probably is 3%.

Re:I heard other numbers (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43677967)

YouTube - You watch a short, low quality video, then spend a little time browsing for another video.
Netflix - You are continuously streaming high quality video for anywhere from 20 minutes (30 min TV show) to 2+ hours (movies).

YouTube might have more users at any given time, but it's completely plausible that Netflix utterly crushes it in terms of how much bandwidth is used. Given that Hulu, which is probably Netflix's single largest competitor, posted around 1/5 the revenues for 2012, it's a drop in the bucket compared to Netflix... and Netflix is more friendly to people that want to continuously watch episodes/movies due to a lack of commercial breaks.

Re:I heard other numbers (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43678065)

And they're talking about North America. You have to take into account that things like Hulu are USA-only but Netflix is available in Canada. Granted, the selection pales compared to the USA version, but at least it's available.

Re:I heard other numbers (5, Funny)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#43678427)

YouTube spends most of its time saying 'buffering'; something I've never experienced with netflix. That's got to save a lot of bandwidth.

Re:I heard other numbers (0)

al.caughey (1426989) | about a year ago | (#43678129)

I though Justin Beiber accounted for 50% of all of the network traffic

Is BitTorrent still using 35-40%? (1)

billstewart (78916) | about a year ago | (#43678371)

It's possible that that figure was only on Internet2, which has mostly academic users. Or is Netflix using BitTorrent for their downloads?

You know... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43677849)

I would be more than happy to be able to actually download movies from Netflix during non peak times to watch at some other time. This would allow spreading out the bandwidth over the course of a day instead of everyone streaming at peak times such as 7PM EST,CST,PST

Streaming services will continue to degrade our bandwidth unless we are given the ability to download movies\shows during off hours to watch later.

Re:You know... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#43677923)

Better idea just upgrade the internet connections.

I don't want to decide what I am going to watch hours in advance. I have no interest in leaving some machine on burning power to record a show for later.

TV series episodes on the bus (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43678473)

Better idea just upgrade the internet connections.

Say you want to watch 24-minute episodes of a TV series on your 30-minute-each-way bus commute to and from work. To stream on the bus, you'd need an expensive cellular data plan. And it's expensive because there's a limit to how many cellular subscribers can be served at once.

I don't want to decide what I am going to watch hours in advance.

You do if you're watching a whole season of a TV series in order.

I have no interest in leaving some machine on burning power to record a show for later.

Even if you have no such interest, millions of pirates using BitTorrent have such interest.

Re:You know... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43677951)

I would be more than happy to be able to actually download movies from Netflix during non peak times to watch at some other time. This would allow spreading out the bandwidth over the course of a day instead of everyone streaming at peak times such as 7PM EST,CST,PST

Streaming services will continue to degrade our bandwidth unless we are given the ability to download movies\shows during off hours to watch later.

But that would disrupt the hilarious consensual hallucination among the 'content' people that 'streaming' isn't actually just a form of 'downloading' where you don't bother to write things to the disk! We can't have that!

It is absolutely necessary that 'streaming' and 'downloading' be fundamentally different, because, um, 'broadcasting' and 'selling VHS tapes' were fundamentally different! That's why! Also, if your video decoder was sold as a 'computer' and connects to an LCD panel that the salesman called a 'monitor', that's entirely different than if your video decoder is called a 'set top box' and is connected to an LCD panel called a 'TV'. Because, because, something.

Re:You know... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43678041)

My AppleTV is connected to a computer-only LCD panel (it only has VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs, no built-in tuner).

I wonder what kind of comments I'd get about my setup from those "content people".

Re:You know... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43678105)

You... can't... don't... should... not... be.

Silent (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43678491)

My AppleTV is connected to a computer-only LCD panel (it only has VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs, no built-in tuner).

I thought computer-only LCD panels tended to lack audio output. Did you have Apple TV in mind before you bought your computer-only LCD panel to make sure it had an audio output?

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678183)

I would be more than happy to be able to actually download movies from Netflix during non peak times to watch at some other time. This would allow spreading out the bandwidth over the course of a day instead of everyone streaming at peak times such as 7PM EST,CST,PST

Streaming services will continue to degrade our bandwidth unless we are given the ability to download movies\shows during off hours to watch later.

What you need is .... TiVo for NetFlix!

Re:You know... (3, Interesting)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#43678321)

What you need is .... TiVo for NetFlix!
Um...you mean PlayLater [playon.tv] ?

Re:You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678265)

Funny, I do that already!

Netflix Canada (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43678011)

It eats the Internet too, eh?

Flix is so retro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678111)

Pffffft ! That's so retro. Torrent / Plex is more efficient and flexible. Combined with the fact I torrent off Chuck'E Cheese / McDonald's / whatever WIFI and I get to take my kids out, the whole experience is where value's at. Besides, Netflix content sucks.

they eat it with CDN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678119)

last I heard they were using Limelight as CDN. Anyone who thinks they are streaming directly to users from amazon is delusional.

Sloppy head line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678125)

North America is not the internet merely an uncivilsed backwater of it.

duh.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678165)

'tv networks' are still in the screaming MINE MINE MINE MINE phase...

they won't even try doing what netflix has done. it won't even occour to them until they're broke and gone.

i hope cbs and fox go cable only over their hissyfit about aereo. and i hope they go alacarte so i don't have to pay for that shit. and then i hope they go bankrupt because nobody watches that obsolete shit.

its the only way they will learn.

Bad codecs (4, Interesting)

jensend (71114) | about a year ago | (#43678253)

If they used modern H.264 and AAC encoders rather than whatever outdated VC.1 and WMA encoders they're using, they could cut that bandwidth use by a third, reducing their costs and improving the customer experience tremendously. Does anybody know why they haven't already done this?

Re:Bad codecs (1)

jensend (71114) | about a year ago | (#43678309)

BTW I believe their streams for iOS, PS3, etc are h.264 these days, but their desktop Silverlight player still uses VC-1 last I heard.

Re:Bad codecs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43678327)

Slow CPUs and also hardware without these protocols installed.

They're Still SPAMMERS (-1, Troll)

Erbo (384) | about a year ago | (#43678281)

I don't care how advanced Netflix's architecture and infrastructure are, they still use unsolicited commercial E-mail--spam--to advertise their services. I've seen it [kuro5hin.org] . Other people have seen it [perl.org] . I do not do business with spammers. Period.

Re:They're Still SPAMMERS (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#43678503)

Netflix doesn's spam. BTW your first link links to a malware site. The second describes that it was not netflix, but a spammer advertising netflix.
This is the problem with affiliate systems. People will always find ways to abuse them, and it will not be the original company. I have recieved affiliate spam that eventually goes through amazon. Was amazon responsible? No.
Granted, some companies do a better job of policing their affiliates, but all it takes is registering a few dozen domains, pasting up some crap pages, signing up for a new affiliate account, and firing off your lists again. Meanwhile pages on those same domains are serving up 'free ipad' ads to the unwary and harvesting more emails.

Sports are the key (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about a year ago | (#43678359)

If any sports franchise (major league, NCAA, etc.) were to get a streaming contract that doesn't require a cable/satellite subscription, it would be the beginning of the end. I think they realize that, and is why they lock down things like ESPN3 or NFL Gametime, etc. Sports is where the revenue is for the operators...not channels like Syfy.

What is netflix ? (0)

stooo (2202012) | about a year ago | (#43678393)

What is netflix ?

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