YouTube Hogging More Peak Downstream Traffic, But Much Less on Mobile Networks

November 12, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Mobile Phone | Social Media | Tablet | Video

Sandvine-Top-Peak-Period-Applications-NA-Fixed-Access-H2-v-H1-Nov2013Netflix continues to be the dominant application when it comes to North American downstream traffic during peak period, according to Sandvine’s “Global Internet Phenomena Report: 2H 2013” [download page]. At 31.62% of traffic, Netflix’s share weakened slightly from the H1 report (32.25%), although the researchers expect that share to rise again in subsequent studies, now that Netflix offers SuperHD content to all subscribers. YouTube grew to capture 18.69% share of traffic, from 17.11% in the H1 report and 14.8% this time last year. But its leading share on mobile networks has tumbled.

In this latest report, Sandvine says that YouTube accounted for 17.7% share of peak downstream traffic on mobile networks. That’s down from 27.3% in the H1 report and 31% in the H2 2012 report. Those are interesting figures, given that Google recently reported (covered here by TechCrunch) that 40% of its traffic now comes from mobile devices.

While YouTube’s share of peak mobile traffic is declining, Netflix is moving in the other direction, now at 5% of peak downstream traffic, up from 2.7% a year ago, as mobile video viewers become more comfortable with long-form content.

While press coverage surrounding Sandvine’s H2 report has centered on the finding that Netflix and YouTube together account for about half of peak downstream traffic (fixed access), that was also the case in the H1 report. Some more notable developments are found when looking at relatively smaller players: iTunes has grown to now account for more traffic share (3.3%) than Hulu (1.3%), for example. Also, the rise of Facebook on mobile cannot be ignored: in the H2 report, it held 15.4% share of peak mobile traffic, almost double its 8.7% share in the H1 study.

Some other highlights from the report follow:

  • In North America, the top 1% of subscribers (those making the heaviest use of the network’s upstream resources) accounted for an impressive 39.8% of the network’s total upstream traffic, up from 34.2% in the previous report;
  • On mobile networks, the top 1% of subscribers accounted for 18.6% of upstream traffic; and
  • Social networking applications captured 20.5% share of downstream traffic on mobile networks in the H2 study, up from 10.6% in the H1 report.

About the Data: Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report examines a representative cross-section of the world’s leading fixed and mobile communications service providers in September 2013. The reports are made possible by the voluntary participation of its customers. Collectively, Sandvine’s customers provide Internet and data service to hundreds of millions of subscribers worldwide.

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