Online Video Accounts for Majority of Internet Traffic

In North America, Netflix and YouTube together account for about half of all Web traffic.

According to networking vendor Sandvine, online video sites like Netflix and YouTube are responsible for a huge percentage of Internet bandwidth consumption. In North American the two sites accounted for 49.4 of all downstream traffic.

Variety's Todd Spangler reported, "Netflix continues to be the biggest hog of Internet bandwidth in North America, with its video traffic jumping more than 35% in March from a year earlier, according to a new study. The video-subscription company accounted for roughly one-third (32.3%) of peak-period downstream traffic on fixed-line broadband networks in North America, about the same as last spring, an analysis by network equipment vendor Sandvine found."

The Atlantic's Philip Bump observed, "If you combine everything that you do on every website besides Netflix and YouTube — reading this article, or looking at GIFs, or checking your email — all of that combined generates about the same amount of peak web traffic as those two sites alone. Netflix itself is bigger in every metric than HBO. According to (estimated) data compiled by Sandvine, a manufacturer of broadband technology, the video-streaming sites comprise 32.3 and 17.1 percent of all peak-period download traffic in North America."

Engadget's Jon Fingas noted, "Netflix use on cellular almost doubled to 4 percent, but YouTube kept an uncontested lead at 27.3 percent of downstream use. It's not hard to see why after looking at other video formats people prefer on the road: raw HTTP video (19.2 percent) and Facebook (8.6 percent) were the next-closest, which suggests that many still grab snack-sized videos on their phones instead of full movies or TV shows."

The Next Web's Emil Protalinski expressed a slightly different opinion, commenting, "The real story here is that Netflix’s North American mobile data usage share almost doubled from 2.24 percent to 3.98 percent in the last 12 months. Sandvine believes that that this number will increase going forward and that longer form video as a whole will become more commonplace on mobile networks in North America."

Tags: YouTube, bandwidth, online video, Web traffic, Netflix

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