How Much Internet Do Streaming Services Use?

September 27, 2019 Category: Pop Culture

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Streaming is extremely common these days!  Are you curious about how much streaming is actually impacting your Internet data usage? Well look no further! This blog will explore how much Internet we use when we stream on Netflix, Crave, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Spotify!

The Fundamentals

When you sign up for an Internet package, part of the package states how much data you are able to use every month.  This is called your “data usage” or “usage limit”. Everything that you do on the Internet will use some portion of this limit (emails, browsing, social media, banking etc.).  Streaming services can also be a large portion of your Internet data usage. Other activities that take up lots of your data include: gaming and video chatting.  If you frequently do these heavy Internet usage activities, then we recommend increasing your plan to include more data usage or consider an unlimited plan.

We have done some analysis to show you what each streaming service would require in terms of data usage. We have broken it down by the amount of hours of streaming done.  According to the Vice President of Netflix,  Cindy Holland, the average person watches 2 hours of Netflix everyday.   We have used this number as a basis for our video streaming calculations.  You could adapt our charts depending on how much you stream per month.

2 hours/day x 30 days = 60 hours of Netflix per Month

The calculation found in the charts below is simply the rate of video quality times the number of hours streamed. We have rounded the numbers to keep it simple. Each chart will tell you how many GB of data you will use depending on how many hours per month you’re watching.

Video/Music Quality Rate × Hours Streamed = Amount of Data Usage


According to their website, watching TV and movies on Netflix will use about 0.7GB (700MB) of data per hour if you’re watching SD video. If you adjust your settings to stream in HD this will use up to 3GB of data per hour.  If you are concerned with the amount of data you’re using on Netflix check out their help page which provides instructions for adjusting your data usage settings.  You can select an auto setting which will automatically deliver the highest quality possible depending on your current Internet connection speed.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has a fairly comparable video quality to Netflix with a range of SD being around /month.


If you’re watching via computer or streaming media device, the range of HD streaming rates are between 900MB to 2.5 GB per hour.  Crave’s support articles provide the range of video quality numbers which we have referenced for our chart calculations.

*iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple TV Generation 4, Apple TV Generation 3, Samsung TV and Amazon FireTV only)

Oh by the way, did you know you can get Crave with your Execulink TV package starting at only $5.99/month?! Add it to your package today via MyExeculink or call us 24/7.


This free-to-watch video provider can also eat up some of your Internet data usage. This Internet and TV blog explored how much data YouTube uses.  We have adopted those numbers for this chart’s calculation.


Streaming music uses less data than if you were to stream video. According to this article from Business Apps, the average person streams 25 hours of music from Spotify every month.  The quality of music that you’re streaming determines how much data is required.  You can control the quality of the music that you are streaming through your settings in Spotify. Quality refers to the number of kbps that are transferred. This ranges from 96kbps for normal quality to 302kbps for extreme quality. The amount of data required to stream music correlates to the quality of music.  To process a normal quality song at 96kbps it would require 0.6GB or 600MB of data.  Spotify has a “Data Saver” mode which you can activate to ensure you are minimizing the amount data you’re using.

These numbers are not set in stone, Spotify remembers songs you have previously listened to, or caches them, so you will use less data the next time you listen to them.

What about bandwidth?

The recommended internet downloading speeds provided by Netflix include the following:

–          0.5 Mbps – required broadband connection speed

–          1.5 Mbps – recommended minimum broadband connection speed

–          3.0 Mbps – recommended for SD quality

–          5.0 Mbps – recommended for HD quality

–          25 Mbps – recommended for Ultra HD quality

Of course, if you are more of a live-TV watcher, you can always rely on our Execulink TV service which starts at only $14/month. We recommend a minimum speed of 10 Mbps for our IPTV service.

Not sure if you have the speed you need? Check out our Internet plans to see what is available in your area!

We hope that this article provided you with an idea of how much data you use when you stream music or your favourite TV shows. Consider these numbers when you are choosing your Internet or Mobility plan.

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