Viewers abandon online piracy as Netflix rules the Internet airwaves

The streaming site's meteoric rise in popularity has come at the expense of piracy-enabling software like BitTorrent

Netflix, Piracy, BitTorrent

Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood in 'House of Cards', the show credited with bringing Netflix millions of new subscribers [Netflix]

With the news that streaming video services like Netflix now account for how 70% of North Americans use the Internet every evening, the global media giant has become so ubiquitous in its reach that hardly anyone is using BitTorrent to indulge in some casual online piracy anymore.

According to numbers crunched by the broadband services company Sandvine, Netflix dominates the field of downstream traffic, accounting for more than 37%. Hot on its heels in YouTube (18%), with Amazon and Apple’s video-streaming sites following around the 3% mark each. 2015 has proven to be a significant year for streaming video content, as audiences around the world acclimatise to à la carte media consumption.

BitTorrent, a popular downloading software which allows for media of all kinds to be downloaded both legally and illegally, has seen a huge fall off; in 2008, it occupied 31% of the total Internet traffic, but in 2015 it had decreased to just 5% of total Internet traffic on a daily basis.


The message streaming media sites, and indeed television networks around the world, will be taking from this survey is that consumers are willing to pay for television and movie streaming when it is affordable, fast, reliable, and good quality. As media companies further their plans to roll out access to online content a revenue-making priority, the industry looks set to grow stronger in 2016.

And Netflix is leading the pack, having just announced that they will be doubling the amount of original scripted-series content next year, going from 16 shows to 31.

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