In the early days, the internet mostly consisted of text and a few pictures. Today, video streaming accounts for the majority of internet traffic. Netflix and YouTube consume over 50% of internet traffic on fixed connections in the US. Europe shows a similar trend.
Video dominates internet traffic
Over the years many TV providers have said that the Internet is unsuitable for video delivery, but times are changing and in a few years’ time the Internet will most likely be synonymous with video and TV. Sandvine has released figures for internet traffic for September 2013.
For the US, the numbers reveal that Netflix accounts for almost 1/3 of all download activity. YouTube is second, and combined the two giants sit on over 50% of fixed internet traffic in the US. Most of the other services in top 10 are also video services, and it is clear that the internet has become a major video distribution channel. Looking at the data for mobile internet, Netflix has a share of about 5% and YouTube is at 17.69%.
The picture for Europe is slightly different, but still shows a similar trend. YouTube consumes almost 29% of traffic on fixed lines, and Netflix has around 3.5 %. However, Netflix is only available in the UK and Nordic countries. They also launched in Netherlands in mid-September. Sandvine says that 2 years after the UK launch Netflix sits on 20% of the internet traffic in the UK. It took 4 years to reach the 20 % mark in the US.
Sandvine also notes that BitTorrent file-sharing accounted for 60 % of internet traffic 11 years ago, but that the share has dropped to below 10% today.