When the iTunes Music Store first launched back in 2003, its success proved that consumers are more than happy to pay for content if it’s a) affordable and b) easy to access. In a similar vein, Netflix is apparently putting quite a dent in BitTorrent, something it’s been doing for a few years now.

A recent report from Sandvine indicates that Internet traffic from Netflix is surging. During peak Internet hours in North America, Netflix is responsible for 36.5% of all Internet traffic. And in step with Netflix’s rise in popularity, we’re seeing a corresponding decline in traffic from BitTorrent.

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“The sharp climb in Netflix usage continues to coincide, rather un-coincidentally, with a notable drop in BitTorrent traffic, Karl Bode of DSL Reports writes. “BitTorrent now accounts for 6.3% of total traffic in North America, and 8.5% in Latin America…”

Indeed, the popularity of BitTorrent has been on the decline for quite some time now. In 2011, filesharing sites accounted for 22% of  Internet traffic. Going back to 2008, filesharing sites accounted for upwards of 33% of Internet traffic.

With so many avenues for consumers to easily access high-quality video content these days —  from Hulu to Netflix to Amazon Prime — it’s hardly surprising to see BitTorrent on the decline.

A little over a year ago, Sandvine’s Dan Deeth told Mashable, “People have shifted their activities to streaming over file sharing, Subscribers get quality content at a reasonable price and it’s dead simple to use, whereas torrenting or file sharing is a little more complicated.”

As for the bandwidth gobbled up by other big sites, Sandvine found that YouTube accounted for 15.6% of traffic during peak hours. Meanwhile, Facebook and Amazon Instant video checked in at 2.7% and 2%, respectively.

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