Study: Netflix Dominates Canadian Online Streaming

Netflix House of Cards United States - H 2013

Netflix House of Cards United States - H 2013

U.S. video streamer captures up to 40 percent of primetime Internet traffic

Netflix's primetime dominance of the Canadian online video market is growing.

The U.S. video streaming giant's local service, Netflix Canada, now accounts for up to 40 percent of bandwidth usage during evening hours, according to a report issued on Thursday by Canadian researcher Sandvine. That compares to Netflix representing 34.2 percent of downstream usage in primetime evening hours in the U.S. market, according to a March 2014 Sandvine report.

Netflix, which launched in Canada in 2010, accounted for just 13.5 percent of evening traffic north of the border three years ago. YouTube is currently the largest source of mobile phone traffic, accounting for over 20 percent of downstream traffic in the Canadian market.

Sandvine said the dominance of Netflix and YouTube makes the Canadian market ripe for new U.S. streaming services. "No other paid over-the-top video service accounts for more than 1 percent of traffic in the evening, making Canada a prime candidate for the introduction of new streaming options," the report said.

That contrasts with the U.S. market where Netflix dominates, but Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and HBOGO account for nearly 7 percent of peak downstream traffic, according to Sandvine. Canadian media giants Rogers Media and Shaw Media recently unveiled plans to launch their own online video portal, Shomi, to compete with Netflix Canada.

A third rival, Bell Media, is set to launch its own video streaming service here. Netflix and Google also face calls by Canadian TV producers and broadcasters to be regulated as online video services, and to help finance local content production.