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Amazon Prime Video No. 3 in North American Downstream Traffic Market Share

22 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix still dominates as on-demand video/audio entertainment accounts for 67.35% data traffic from 65.35% during the previous-year period

Amazon Prime Video moved up from eighth to third in North American downstream traffic market share during peak viewing hours, according to new data from Sandvine. Netflix remains No. 1, underscoring on-demand video/audio entertainment as the largest traffic category on most digital networks.

Prime Video generated 4.26% market share on fixed line networks in March, up from 1.97% during the previous-year period. Hulu ranked sixth at 2.68%, up from 1.91%.

Google’s YouTube accounted for 17.53% market share, which was up from 15.56%.

Indeed, Netflix saw its streaming traffic market share actually decrease slightly to 35.2% from 36.5% — a change attributed largely to the subscription streaming pioneer’s intentional use of enhanced optimization resulting in less data use by subscribers.

Sandvine contends Netfix’s new encoding techniques are a win for subscribers and operators since the video uses fewer network resources, resulting in an overall better experience to the end user. It was unclear if Netflix had re-encoded its entire library, so an update in the second half of this year may better reveal the impact encode optimization may have had on networks in the region.

Sling TV, Dish Network’s standalone online TV service, accounted for less than 1% of peak downstream traffic. However, for the first time the $20 monthly service was among the top 20 applications on most digital networks.

Sandvine said that due to license agreements, services such as Hulu and HBO Now experience some seasonal changes in their downstream market share based upon the availability of new content.

“Hulu and HBO are both especially susceptible to these fluctuations because much of their content is made available only after being broadcast on television and the variability of when new programming is available,” read the report. 

Meanwhile, real-time (on-demand) entertainment accounts for more than 71% of downstream traffic during prime-time viewing periods, up from 70% reported in 2015. It generates 67.35% of primetime traffic on fixed line networks; 35.39% on mobile.

Driven by user-generated content, YouTube tops primetime downstream streaming traffic on mobile devices at 20.87%, followed by Facebook at 13.97%. Netflix sits in eighth with 3.72% — underscoring the service’s enduring popularity in the home.

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