Video Dominates Wired Internet Use But Loses Share In Mobile: Study

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Real Time Entertainment services led by Netflix will increasingly dominate wired internet traffic in North America — but are losing ground in mobile — a new study from research firm Sandvine shows.

It found that Real Time Entertainment accounted for more than 71% of the downstream traffic in during peak periods on the wired internet in the first half of 2016, up from 70% last year.

That market share should increase to 80% by the end of 2020, Sandvine estimates. It sees big increases as consumers pick up on 4K, High-dynamic-range (HDR) video, and virtual reality.

Netflix accounted for 35.2% of this year’s download traffic on wired networks, down from 36.5% last year. Sandvine says that may be misleading: It probably reflects a Netflix initiative to optimize its bitrates — not a decline in viewing. The full impact of the change will be clearer later this year.

But Amazon, which also is optimizing its streams, increased to 4.3% from last year’s 2.0%. That makes it the “leading paid OTT alternative video service in North America, without having a presence in Canada,” Sandvine says.

Hulu accounted for 2.7%, up from 1.9%. That put it just behind iTunes with 2.9%, down from 3.4%.

Meanwhile, YouTube strengthened its claim to be the chief ad-supported streamer. It accounted for 17.5% of the wired downstream traffic, up from  15.6%.

The picture is a little different in mobile internet usage. Real Time Entertainment here accounted for 38.3% of the downstream traffic, down from 40.9% as social networking gained market share.

“Over time mobile messaging apps have evolved from text messaging, to include audio calls, and now video calls, while at the same time traditional social networks have integrated autoplaying video, and even live-casting to help drive engagement and increase advertising revenue,” Sandvine says.

YouTube still commanded the most bits, with 20.9%.  It was followed by Facebook with nearly 14%. If you add Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp to the tally, then the company accounts for more than 22%.

Netflix represented 3.7% of the mobile downstream traffic.

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