No wonder Comcast wants Netflix to pay for all the Internet bandwidth it uses. The movie streaming service takes up more than a whopping one-third of all Internet traffic during peak hours.
In the Canadian broadband networking company Sandvine's latest Global Internet Phenomena report, Netflix was found to take over 34.9 percent of bandwidth during the evenings, the busiest time of the day when most Internet users log on to Netflix. This is a slight improvement over last year's 34.2 percent and Netflix's highest peak Internet traffic numbers in North America to date.
Remarkably, some 2.5 percent of users in the Australia and Asia-Pacific regions are accessing Netflix, accounting for 4 percent of peak traffic, even though Netflix is not yet available in the area.
Trailing far behind in second place is fellow video streaming website YouTube, which owns 14 percent of peak traffic, also inching a little bit higher from 13.2 percent. Although other movie streaming websites own a mere fraction of the peak traffic, rivals Amazon Instant Video and HBO GO are starting to take off.
Amazon Instant Video, for instance, only owns just 2.5 percent of peak Internet traffic, but has been steadily growing and has more than doubled in the last 18 months, says Sandvine. HBO GO, on the other hand, has only around 1 percent but is poised to take a bigger piece of the pie once the stand-alone Internet version that doesn't require a cable subscription becomes available.
"With both Netflix and Amazon Instant Video gaining bandwidth share in North America during 2014, it will be fascinating to see how a stand-alone HBO GO streaming option will impact networks when it launches in 2015," says Dave Caputo, CEO and president of 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."
Also interesting to note is the increase of peak traffic rates of Facebook, which is not a typical video streaming website but is foraying into video nonetheless. Sandvine says Facebook, which saw a massive increase in traffic for both web and mobile clients when the social network introduced automatic playing last year, owns 3 percent of peak traffic in the U.S. and Canada.
The figures only account for fixed line broadband. For mobile users running on data connection, YouTube owns the majority of the market share with 19.75 percent with Facebook not far behind with 19.05 percent.