Raw Data: What We Use the Internet For
This is not exactly breaking news, but it's nonetheless interesting to see how the internet continues to evolve. According to Sandvine's latest survey, 67 percent of all downstream internet traffic in North America is dedicated to "real time entertainment"—i.e., watching videos and listening to music. Netflix alone accounts for an astonishing one-third of all downstream traffic, and Netflix + YouTube accounts for more than half. Conversely, less than 10 percent of all traffic consists of ordinary web browsing (that's the box labeled HTTP).
The rest of the world is slightly less entertainment obsessed. It accounts for 47 percent of downstream traffic in Europe; 49 percent in Latin America; and 55 percent in Asia.
In the mobile world, entertainment is less dominant and social networking is more dominant. In North America, 40% of mobile downstream traffic is dedicated to entertainment and 20 percent is dedicated to social networking. You'll have to register if you want to read the whole Sandvine report, but it's got plenty of interesting tidbits if this kind of thing interests you.