You may already know this, but Netflix (NFLX) and Google’s YouTube are eating all the Internet bandwidth. That’s the conclusion in the latest Global Internet Phenomena Report from Canadian networking technology company Sandvine.
“Real-Time Entertainment” — or streaming video and music — continues to be the largest traffic category on “virtually every network” that Sandvine examined. It continues to grow and become a largest portion of bandwidth, including mobile networks. Real-Time Entertainment is responsible for over 68% of downstream bytes during peak period, compared to 65% six months ago, according to the report. Another growing area is “home roaming,” or WiFi offloading, with 20% of traffic on fixed broadband being generated by a smartphone or tablet. Rich Communications Services, such as WhatsApp, are yet another growth areas.
As far as specific applications, Netflix and YouTube continue to be huge traffic drivers. Netflix is the leader, accounting for 32.3% of downstream traffic during peak period, according to Sandvine. This declined a fraction of a percent from the 2H 2012 study, but the report points out that pay-video services such as Amazon (1.31%) and HBO Go (0.34%) saw their relative share decline more than Netflix. YouTube continues to grow. In the 1H 2012 study, YouTube accounted for 13.8% of downstream traffic, but Sandvine says that has now grown to 17.1% in 1H 2013. The report says the increase is attributed to the continued growth of smartphone and tablet use within the home, or home roaming.
Use of BitTorrent continues to decline, perhaps indicating that the more widespread availability of commercial media is driving people out of the underground. BitTorrent now accounts for just 9.2% of traffic during peak period and 11.1% of total daily traffic, a sharp decline in the 18.9% of total daily traffic in North America that it consumed just 18 months ago.
In North America, the top 1% of subscribers who make the heaviest use of the network’s upstream resources account for over a third (34.2%) of total upstream traffic, says the report. “At the opposite end of the usage spectrum, the network’s lightest 50% of users account for only 6.4 % of total monthly traffic.”
You can read the full report here. I’ll be excerpting more of this interesting data over the next week.