Our binge-happy appetite for streaming video is far from satiated.
Entertainment has grown to account for more than 70% of peak Internet traffic, up from 69% earlier this year and 64% during the first half of 2014, according to networking company Sandvine.
Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video and Hulu all increased their traffic during peak viewing periods, according to Sandvine’s latest Global Internet Phenomena report. Netflix now commands 37.1% of downstream traffic during the study period, Sandvine says. That’s up slightly from 36.5% of traffic found in Sandvine’s April traffic report.
Netflix and the other top three video destinations all saw gains over Sandvine’s previously published figures, says Dan Deeth, media and industry relations manager for Sandvine. “Netflix’s traffic share is now greater than the share of all video five years ago,” he said. “The growth of these services just speaks to how the Internet is now used as an entertainment delivery medium. Five years ago, I would have called it more of an information delivery medium.”
YouTube, which remained the No. 2 traffic generator saw its share grow from 15.5% to 17.85% in the latest report.
Amazon, which previously held the No. 8 spot on Sandvine’s moved up to No. 4 as its share of peak traffic grew from about 2% to more than 3%.
Hulu saw gains, too, accounting for 2.6% of traffic, up from 1.9% earlier this year.
Amazon’s increase pushed Apple iTunes and traffic from its downloadable content from the No. 4 slot to No. 5. Overall Web browsing entertainment maintained the No. 3 slot.
Earlier this year, Nielsen reported that 41% of U.S. homes have access to an streaming video on demand subscription service such as Netflix, Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime Video during the last three months of 2014, up from 36% in the same period last year. And 13% of homes have more than one streaming service.
Networks seem to be increasing capacity to handle consumers’ growing reliance on streaming video, Deeth said. That’s a good sign as several streaming outlets, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon included, have begun building out 4K video libraries.
“Consumers still need 4K devices and there is no compelling reason for them to upgrade because content companies need to get more 4K content,” he said. “And while everyone waits for that to happen video encoding/compression will improve so that it lessens the impact.”
Traffic related to social networks and online video games also grew slightly to account for 5% and 4% of peak traffic, respectively.
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