Netflix accounts for a whopping one-third of all downstream Internet traffic during peak hours in North America.
A report from Sandvine reveals Netflix's growing popularity, noting the company's share of traffic in the second half of 2014 is up to 34.89 percent from 34.21 percent in the first half.
While Netflix did see an increase in traffic, so did a number of other large Internet companies. Facebook saw an increase to 2.89 percent from 1.99 percent after beginning to push its services as a video-sharing website. Amazon Video also rose to 2.58 percent from 1.9 percent. Finally, YouTube's share rose to 14.09 percent from 13.19 percent.
Despite Netflix's healthy jump, many expect the figure to decline soon thanks to an increasing number of streaming services coming into play. But then again, given increasing numbers of video users, Netflix and other streaming providers could likely see robust growth continue.
"With both Netflix and Amazon Instant Video gaining bandwidth share in North America during 2014, it will be fascinating to see how a standalone HBO Go streaming option will impact networks when it launches in 2015," said Dave Caputo, chief executive of network equipment maker Sandvine. "The dynamic streaming video market underscores how important it is that operators around the globe have the business intelligence and big data solutions in place to understand the ever-changing behavior of their subscribers."
It is important to note these figures do not account for traffic from mobile, where YouTube is by far the leader. YouTube currently accounted for 19.75 percent of traffic during peak hours on mobile, with Facebook coming in with a close second at 19.05 percent. Typical mobile traffic grew to 118 MB per month, up from 102 MB.
The most interesting increase was certainly from Facebook. Its introduction of automatic video playing on its social media network led to an increase by up to 60 percent on mobile networks and a whopping 200 percent on fixed networks over the last year. This moved the social media company into fourth place in downstreams, up from eighth last year, even though the company only accounts for around 3 percent of total downstream traffic.
Home Internet users are increasing data and content use. On average, home users are using between 30 percent and 40 percent more data than last year, now having an average of 20 GB per month.
Interestingly enough, Netflix also saw an increase in downstream traffic in countries where it doesn't even operate yet. While the company will be launching its video-streaming service in Australia and New Zealand next year, it was noted as a top-10 application on fixed networks in the region. This is due to users in Australia accessing the service by using a virtual private network, which can "trick" a network into thinking that it originates from another country than it does.
"Amazingly, approximately 2.5 percent of subscribers are accessing the service and it comprises as much as 4 percent of peak downstream traffic, and the service isn't yet available in the region," continued Sandvine. The company's biannual report on Internet traffic trends is Global Internet Phenomena Report 2H 2014.