Half of Peak Internet Traffic Comes from Netflix and YouTube

/ Nov 11, 2013


If you’re like most North Americans, you finish off your day firmly planted either in front of your TV or computer. The question though, is what exactly are you watching? According to a new Global Internet Phenomena report, there’s a good chance it’s either Netflix or YouTube.

In North America, both Netflix and YouTube are dominating downstream internet traffic during peak hours. According to the report, which was curated by mobile data network provider Sandvine, “Netflix (31.6%) holds its ground as the leading downstream application in North America.” Combined with YouTube (18.6%), both platforms make up over 50% of internet traffic during peak hours, which are typically between 7 pm and 9 pm.

Sadly, Hulu and Amazon Video barely scratch the surface of downstream internet traffic, making up less than 2% respectively.

Netflix isn’t dominating solely in North America either. In Europe, the streaming service accounts for more than 20% of downstream traffic “on certain fixed networks” around Great Britain and Ireland. This boon in traffic comes only two years after Netflix launched in the British Isles.

Although Netflix has remained tightlipped about how well its original programs perform, Sandvine explained to CNet that shows like “House of Cards” and “Hemlock Grove” did not boost the streaming service’s traffic percentage at time of release.

While 50% of total traffic downstream peak traffic is a massive percentage, the Sandvine study shouldn’t come as a total shocker. The same report last year showed that Netflix made up 33% while YouTube accounted for 14.8%. If anything, Netflix has seen a slight dip in peak traffic percentages while YouTube, interestingly, seems to be climbing.

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