Video Accounts for 53 Percent of Internet Traffic
Netflix represents one-third of all downstream traffic, followed by YouTube with 18 percent.
A new report from Canadian Internet monitoring firm Sandvine says video streaming accounts for more than 53 percent of all downstream traffic in North America.
Netflix represents the lion's share of that traffic at 31.62 percent. YouTube trails with 18.69 percent but still accounts for the second-highest amount of traffic.
The top two Internet streaming sites now represent more than half of all downstream traffic.
The Sandvine report adds that YouTube's year-over-year share has grown 9 percent.
On the other hand, Bittorrent's downstream traffic (which is primarily illegal file sharing) continues to decline sharply, now at just 4 percent of the total. It still is the most important source of upstream traffic (i.e., from people's homes to other computers) at 36.35 percent, primarily because individuals are sharing files. Its overall share of combined upstream and downstream traffic is under 10 percent, down from 31 percent in 2008, the first year Sandvine issued its report.
Overall upstream traffic is concentrated in very few users: The top 1 percent represent 39.8 percent of the traffic.
Amazon Video, with 1.61 percent of all downstream traffic, and Hulu, with 1.29 percent, are No. 8 and No. 10 on the list of the top sources of traffic.
Those four sites alone account for 53.21 percent of all downstream traffic. The final figure is probably higher since BitTorrent (No. 4, 4.05 percent) and iTunes (No. 5, 3.27 percent) include video along with applications and music. Their video-only numbers are not broken out.
Sandvine also broke out mobile usage stats, which show a different usage matrix.
Youtube is tops with 17.69 percent of downstream traffic. Facebook, which has just a 1 percent desktop share, is No. 2 on the mobile list with 15.44 percent.
Pandora, at No. 7 on the list with 5.03 percent, edges out Netflix by two-tenths of a percent (No. 8, 5.01 percent). Websites and other browsing account for much of the traffic, including Instagram with 3.53 percent of downstream traffic.
See the desktop and mobile charts below.