Online Video Dominates Web Traffic

As legitimate VOD streaming services establish stronger footholds, it would appear online piracy of TV and film seems to be on the wane – at least within North America.

Canadian Internet monitoring firm Sandvine has released a report studying internet traffic across the continent, with legitimate video sharing sites accounting for more than 53% of all ‘downstream traffic’.

Netflix is the predominant user accounting for 31.6% of all downstream traffic, that’s followed by YouTube with 18.7%. Other VOD services also having an impact are iTunes (3.3%), Amazon Video (1.6%) and Hulu (1.3%).

In comparison, BitTorrent traffic (illegal file shorting) is on a sharp decline and now accounts for just 4% of all download traffic. However, it remains the king of ‘upstream traffic’ (uploading) where it holds a whopping 36.4% share. Combined it has an aggregate share of 7.4% of all bandwidth usage in North America – that’s significantly down on a 31% share back in 2008, and a 60% share back in 2002.

All those figures are for desktops. On mobile, the usage is quite different with downstream traffic dominated by YouTube (17.7%), Facebook (15.4%), and web access, followed further down the list by Pandora (5%), Netflix (5%), Instagram (3.5%) and iTunes (3.2%).

Outside of North America, Netflix accounts for 20% of all downstream traffic in the U.K. even though the service has only been online there for two years. Internet video call service Skype, Cloud file sharing service Dropbox, and Apple’s video conferencing app FaceTime are also using up notable chunks of bandwidth across the globe.

Source: The Wall Street Journal