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Amazon Prime Passes Hulu, Apple TV in Bandwidth Usage

8 Apr, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

SVOD service solidifies runner-up status to Netflix

Amazon April 8 said its Prime Instant Video service has surpassed Hulu and Apple TV in terms of bandwidth usage, including nearly tripling the video streams since last year.

Citing data commissioned from online research firm Quilt, Amazon offered little additional information on the numbers or demographic make-up of Prime subscribers who use the streaming service, in addition to the free two-day shipping.

“We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in great TV shows and movies for Prime members and its working,” Bill Carr, VP of digital video and music for Amazon, said in a statement.

Amazon has upped significantly content spending on exclusive rights to TV shows and original fare as it remains engaged in a battle with Netflix for subscription streaming market share in the United States and Europe.

The recent launch of the $99 Fire TV streaming media player is intended to further expand consumer access to Prime Instant Video, Amazon Instant Video, in addition to third-party content without purchasing a Kindle tablet.

Recent exclusive series include “Downton Abbey,” “24,” “Orphan Black,” “The Americans,” “Justified,” “Hannibal,” “Workaholics,” “Grimm,” “Under the Dome,” “Veronica Mars” and upcoming CBS summer replacement sci-fi series “Extant,” starring Halle Berry.

Amazon Prime original series include “Alpha House,” “Bosch,” “The After,” “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Transparent.”

Dan Sahar, VP of product marketing at Quilt, said tracking bandwidth represents a more definitive measure of consumer usage than unique views. While YouTube ranks No. 1 in unique viewers, Sahar said comScore tracks viewers based on clicks, not bandwidth usage.

"If you click on a YouTube video watch it for two seconds, that's considered a view," Sahar told Benzinga.com. "It's not really an accurate measurement for video. [Tracking] bandwidth consumption … is far more precise. If you're staying and watching a full video, it means that you're consuming more bandwidth.”

And bandwidth usage is what ISPs are exploiting by extracting fees from Netflix and other SVOD services to deliver video streams more smoothly the last mile into consumer homes.


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