Netflix Accounted For One-Third of Downstream Internet Traffic in September (Report)

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The troubled streaming video company was a major player online last month, but a new study says it may have already peaked.

Netflix may have lost 800,000 customers in the most recent quarter, but it's still a major online player, constituting 32.7 percent of North America's peak evening downstream traffic.

According to a new study by Sandvine Intelligent Broadband Networks and first reported by Mashable, 60 percent of all evening peak period downstream Internet traffic consists of real time entertainment applications, such as Netflix and Hulu. Of that 60 percent, Netflix accounted for over half.

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The study surveyed 200 Internet service providers in 80 countries for their traffic during September 2011. The study also cautioned that Netflix may have already hit its peak that month and with so many cancellations, it would not reach that percentage of the market in North American again.

The streaming video company has had a rough quarter, with its announced price hikes and plans to split the company being met with resounding jeers and stock dropping 37 percent from its peak.

The study also revealed that 55 percent of traffic in North America is going not to PCs, but to game consoles such as the X-Box, set-top boxes, smart TVs and mobile devices.

Of all peak hours mobile network traffic, the kind used by smart phones, real time entertainment was again the largest traffic driver, with 33.8 percent of downstream traffic, followed by web browsing with 27.5 percent.

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