In the first quarter of 2014 Netflix streamed 6.5 billion hours of videos. With an average quality of HD that brings the total data sent by Netflix to over 19,500,000 terabytes in just 3 months. That is an astonishing 6,500,000 terabytes every month. At this rate Netflix will use 78,000,000 terabytes of data in 2014.
This is a huge increase over 2013 when Netflix streamed only 4 billion hours of video totaling 12,000,000 terabytes of data in the first quarter of 2013. With an average of 4,000,000 terabytes of video every month in the first quarter of 2013.
In just one year Netflix average data usage increased by 2,500,000 terabytes every month to 6,500,000 terabytes. At that rate Netflix will use 27,000,000 terabytes of data in the first quarter of 2015.
This all assumes people will stick with the 3GB an hour HD. If people start streaming in 4K the data per hour jumps to 7GB for every hour of 4k. That could increase the total data usage to 45,500,000 terabytes of data every quarter or about 15,160,000 terabytes every month using first quarter 2014 numbers.
Now we have not even looked at YouTube, Hulu, or Amazon Instant data usage. After that start adding in smaller services like WatchESPN and HBO Go will really start to rack up the data.
This explosive growth in hours viewed shows cord cutting is growing. Both in numbers of canceled cable TV bills and in the silently growing majority who watch less and less cable TV every month.