The information super highway is getting crowded. During peak periods, it can be tough to maintain any kind of speed but we’re all trying – from out desktop computers, our smartphones, our tablets, internet TVs and gaming consoles. We’re shopping, reading emails, browsing the web – but more than anything, we’re streaming real-time entertainment content.
Almost 64% of all North American downstream internet traffic during peak hours is about streaming media and of that Netflix is king. According to a new report by Sandvine Global, Netflix is responsible for 34% of downstream peak traffic.
Many of these users are “cord cutters” – folks who watch TV and movies via the internet versus on a traditional TV. These guys are major road hogs.
- They consume on average 212GB a month, more than seven times the 29GB of a typical subscriber
- They view the equivalent of 100 hours of video each month
- They account for the majority (54%) of total monthly network traffic
Netflix’s share is so big and so important to the company, they even agreed to pay additional fees for upgrades and direct access to customers via a couple of cable companies who were undoubtedly unhappy about the amount of data being used by streaming fans.
But it’s not just Netflix looking for love in the fast lane. YouTube is buzzing along, too, while Amazon Video and Hulu remain stuck behind a long line of red taillights.
If you’re stuck in traffic, you might turn to your smartphone for comfort. Facebook rules for upstream mobile traffic with Instagram coming in 5th. Snapchat didn’t make the top ten list of most used mobile apps, but it takes the top traffic prize for third-party messaging. On one network, the visual messaging app was responsible for 12% of the total traffic generated on New Year’s Eve. Wow.
If you’re not a millennial male, you may not know about Twitch.TV but this live streaming service is creating a fast lane all its own, generating more traffic than HBO Go on US networks. Instead of watching TV online, you watch people playing online games. It may sound strange but people have been watching other people play games on TV for fifty years – it’s called a game show. And they may have fallen out of favor on television but the concept is booming on the web.
Want to know what else is happening in the world of internet traffic? Sandvine Global has a 34 page report that they’ll happily share with you for the low, low price of your contact info.