Netflix and YouTube Still Rule Bandwidth Usage in North America

/ May 14, 2014


Netflix is still the king of online video consumption in North America.

According to the latest report from broadband networking company Sandvine, Netflix accounted for 34.2% of “downstream” traffic during prime-time hours (which Sandvine defines as 7-11pm) in March 2014. That’s actually an increase from Sandvine’s previous report in November, which pegged Netflix with a 31.6% of downstream traffic.

Sandvine Report 1Netflix has grown its North American subscriber base since last fall, but Sandvine says this increase in traffic share is more “likely” due to Netflix’s introduction of “super HD” content in North America.

Sandvine’s internet-traffic reports are based on its tracking of data from more than 250 broadband service providers worldwide.

The other top-dog in online video, YouTube, saw its traffic share decrease in North America, falling from 18.6% in the second half of 2013 to 13.2% in March 2014.

It’s a different story when it comes to mobile access, where YouTube holds serve accounting for 17.6% of downstream traffic in North America. Netflix sits in eighth-place with 5.05% in Sandvine’s chart.

Sandvine Report 2

Among the other interesting findings from the report, Sandvine suggests that cord-cutters are responsible for a heavy portion of North American online video consumption. According to the company, North American subscribers who “exhibit” cord-cutting behavior (which it defines as the top 15 percent of streaming video users) consume on average 212GB per month — that’s more than seven times the 29GB consumed by the “typical” user, and is equivalent to 100 hours of video per month and 54% of total monthly network traffic.

(It’s important to note here that Sandvine does not verify that these users are actually cord-cutters. Instead, the company is saying that because these users are consuming so much online video, they’re likely to be in that group.)

As for other fun facts you might be interested in: live-streaming service Twitch.TV accounts for more prime-time downstream traffic than HBO Go in the US, good enough for a top-15 ranking in Sandvine’s report.

Amazon and Hulu, meanwhile, are in the top 10 but far behind Netflix. Amazon had 1.9% share of downstream traffic, while Hulu accounted for 1.74%

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