Netflix isn’t so chill when it comes to winning the Internet streaming wars

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Capitalizing on our collective desire to sit around and do nothing (read: chill), Netflix has effectively won the Internet streaming wars. As per the new Global Internet Phenomena report from broadband Internet service tracking firm Sandvine, streaming audio and video services now account for a whopping 70 percent of North American downstream traffic during peak evening hours. Just five years ago, these services made up 35 percent of Internet traffic during this time window. And leading the pack is Netflix, which “now has a greater share of traffic than all of streaming audio and video did five years ago,” says Sandvine CEO Dave Caputo. Pretty chill.

According to Sandvine’s data, Netflix independently comprises well over a third of peak downstream traffic on fixed networks. At 37.5 percent, the amount of Internet traffic Netflix attracts is more than the next six closest players in the field combined, and is more than double the closest competitor, YouTube, which makes up 17.85 percent of downstream traffic.

Noting the “rapid pace” at which streaming services have taken over the Internet, Caputo pointed to the dramatic increase in the popularity not only of Netflix, but also Amazon Video and Hulu. Just blips on the radar a few years ago, these two services now account for an impressive 6 percent of peak hours traffic, and it seems that this proportion will only increase in years to come. This data, Caputo said, “underscores both the growing role these streaming services play in the lives of subscribers, and the need for service providers to have solutions to help deliver a quality experience when using them.”

While Netflix doesn’t have as great of a presence on mobile devices (not everyone can stream video for free, despite T-Mobile’s best efforts), streaming services still dominate overall in terms of data usage. Accounting for over 40 percent of downstream bytes, YouTube takes the cake in terms of downstream traffic on mobile, with Facebook and its recent introduction of auto-play coming in second.

You can click through to download Sandvine’s full report below, and gawk at the staggering amount of time we’ve spent on Netflix and chilling this year.


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