According to the most recent Global Internet Phenomena Report focusing on Latin America and North America from Sandvine (TSX:SVC), a Waterloo, Ontario provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, Netflix’s share of traffic on North America fixed networks has declined somewhat in the past year while Amazon Video has risen in its traffic share numbers.
The report confirms the overall prominence of streaming media for evening traffic on North American fixed access (as opposed to mobile) networks, which now accounts for 71% of all traffic.
Sandvine expects that figure to increase to 80% by 2020.
Using data from a selection of Sandvine’s 300-plus communications service provider (CSP) customers, the Sandvine report has found that Netflix’s share of traffic stands at 35.2% of traffic on North America fixed networks, compared to 37.1% six months ago.
It’s a modest decline, but one that stands to recover if Netflix’s policy of “delivering video streams with the best perceptual quality possible, given the constraints of the network bandwidth and viewing device”, or optimally compressing their video library, continues to improve.
“Netflix’s decision to optimize their entire video library will yield benefits for both subscribers and operators,” said Dave Caputo, CEO, Sandvine. “Netflix’s optimizations means they can deliver more hours of video using less bandwidth, which results in lower data consumption for subscribers, and decreased capacity-related costs for operators.”
Netflix’s in-house term for this optimization is Per-Title Encode Optimization, which involves encoding Netflix video streams to minimize the unpredictability of transient cloud errors and video quality issues at every point in the cloud-based media delivery pipeline.
Meanwhile, Amazon Video has risen through the rankings for traffic share from eighth place a year ago in North America to third place, accounting for 4.3% of fixed traffic, which is an appreciable rise but still far behind Netflix.
Sling TV makes its first appearance among the top 20 streaming applications on most US networks, but still only accounts for less than 1% of traffic.
The rise of streaming media like Netflix and Amazon Video also means that fewer people are downloading their favourite shows and music via torrent, with BitTorrent now accounting for less than 5% of total daily traffic in North America.
Other forms of traffic account for that remaining 29% of traffic, with Cloud Storage (Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, etc.) now surpassing filesharing as the largest source of upstream traffic during peak periods on North American fixed access networks.
Voice and video calling are also pushing an increase in traffic share, with WhatsApp accounting for 7.4% in Latin America, more than tripling its share in that region from two years ago.
Facebook and Google account for over 70% of total mobile traffic in Latin America, up from 60% in last year’s report.
An increase in encrypted traffic is also an indicator that people are jittery about privacy concerns, with 60% of mobile traffic in both Latin America and North America now encrypted, and projected by Sandvine to surpass 80% on some networks this year.