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Netflix Ups Peak U.S. Internet Traffic Market Share

14 May, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Subscription streaming pioneer No. 2 in the U.K. and Ireland, while HBO Go market share slides

Netflix continues to dominate North American broadband traffic during peak evening hours — now accounting for 34.2% of downstream traffic, according to Sandvine’s latest biannual report. The subscription streaming pioneer accounted for 31.6% of downstream traffic in the Ontario, Canada-based networking equipment company’s second-half 2013 report.

Sandvine attributed Netflix’s rise in part due it streaming higher bitrate Super HD video content. When the service first began streaming in Super HD last year, it caused a 10-15% increase in Netflix traffic.

Netflix, which ranked 8th in North American mobile downstream traffic with 5% market share, ranked No. 2 in the United Kingdom and Ireland with 17.8% market share, just behind YouTube at 19.3%.

Based on current growth rates, Sandvine expects Netflix to be the leading source of network traffic in the United Kingdom and Ireland within the next year. Other video streaming services from providers such as the BBC, Ireland’s RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann), and Amazon account for from 1% to 3% of peak broadband traffic, respectively.

Meanwhile, HBO’s vaunted HBO Go streaming app generated just 1.24% peak North American downstream market share — behind video game streaming service Twitch (1.35%), Hulu Plus (1.74%), Amazon Video (1.9%) and Facebook (1.99%), among others.

Separately, “cord cutters” continue to have a growing impact on Internet video consumption, according to Sandvine. The demographic, which includes consumers opting to view video via Internet sources instead of bundled pay-TV services, now rank in the top 15th-percentile of streaming audio and video usage.

“Cord cutter” behavior consumes 11-times as much streaming content, and more than seven-times as much total data as a typical video subscriber. In other words, cord-cutters consume about 100 of online video per month.

“That may seem like a shockingly high number to some, but in home with multiple individuals, and multiple screens, it is a number that is quite easily achievable,” Sandvine wrote in the report.

“The most striking fact of all may be the revelation that the top 15th-percentile of video users actually consume the majority of monthly network traffic, and that the bottom 15th-percentile of users consume only 0.5%.”

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