Streaming video now creates 70 percent of web traffic – other interesting facts revealed

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/mspoli)

Back in May, we reported Netflix customers in Australia were having their access throttled by ISPs due to how much strain video streaming was putting on the country's infrastructure. At the time we reported that Netflix accounted for 20 – 25 percent of web traffic after just two months of its launch in Australia, but according to new research from Sandvine, video streaming now creates 70 percent of web traffic.

It's worth noting that Sandvine's figures are based on the North American market, but should be similar in several other markets. The main drivers of "real-time entertainment" from the desktop are Netflix and YouTube – who alone create around 55 percent of all video traffic. When you factor-in sources like Facebook, Hulu, and Amazon Video, that number raises to just above 70 percent.

Real-time entertainment on mobile is also the highest cause of mobile traffic, albeit just above 40 percent. On mobile, the audio and video traffic is created by more social media sources – such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. YouTube still creates the most traffic however, at over 20 percent, although Netflix sits near the bottom with just above 3 percent of the mobile traffic.

With most data plans still capped, it's unsurprising that consumers aren't using their data for watching long-form content such as Netflix whilst on-the-move in the same way as the often short-form content found on YouTube. When somewhere with a WiFi connection, it's more likely that a desktop or TV would be available to watch long-form content more comfortably.

Other interesting bits of data are in relation to gaming traffic – particularly the rise of Twitch and the increasing popularity of eSports streaming. When it comes to downloads, the release of FIFA 16's beta saw traffic created by gaming triple in a single day.

Sandvine also noted Microsoft's release of Windows 10, the biggest digital software release in history and its (lack of) impact on network traffic due to a clever staged rollout using off-peak download times.

"Microsoft should really be applauded for their phased Windows 10 roll out. While it may leave some people waiting for an update on launch day, the largest digital software release in history had no significant impact on network experience... 

… Which is kind of incredible if you think about it." 

You can access Sandvine's full report here.

Are your surprised at Sandvine's web traffic findings? Let us know in the comments.

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