Run for your lives!!! NetFlix is going to destroy the internet!! Their streaming awesomeness will shake the webbertubes until they burst, so says The Slate. I mean, look at the numbers – 10% of Canadians visited netflix.com in the first week of its launch! PANIC!!!1!!!!!
You’re not buying this, are you? I even put ‘panic’ in all capital letters, just for you. I also put in numbers and stuff, you know like percentages. Ok, fine, NetFlix will not destroy the internet and I’ll tell you why after the jump.
First a few facts that lead people to believing that NetFlix will destroy our interwebs. Word on the street is NetFlix accounts for 20% of all North American downstream bandwidth usage during ‘peak hours’. Sorry, I haven’t used the phrase ‘peak hours’ since the dial up days, but I digress. That’s actually an impressive number. That number is higher than all the bit-torrent traffic during the same time frame. Which is to say, people are watching more streaming videos, legitimately, than they are stealing movies or, *gasp*, seeding linux torrents. That 20% use is from only 2% of NetFlix subscribers which, according to my new math, means if all Netflix people get online, they’ll eat 1,000,000% of the webbertubenets!! This is where you panic, by the way.
The funny thing is, if you’ve been around for a few years, you’ve heard this same story before. When console gaming went online. When smart phones came out. When MySpace dominated social media and when Facebook took over. All these new devices along with this new technology somehow means the internet, as you know it, will die. That’s simply not the case because the internet is not static. It’s always growing and evolving – most of the time faster than we can even fully utilize what we have.
Companies like NetFlix don’t have one server in one location handling and “clogging teh tewbs”. NetFlix uses Akamai; which have some 70+ THOUSAND servers, scattered everywhere, with high capacity hard drives who’s sole purpose is to act as a massive caching mechanism. Put that in the Super Saver cause you just cut the cost of bandwidth and traffic by.. like, so much, man. All in all, no, NetFlix will not be the end of the internet as we know it – the ‘Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act‘ (COICA) is more than capable of filling those shoes.