How Netflix, YouTube Dominate, Told In Surprising Stats

As streaming grows up, some of the stats about viewership are less interesting for what they say about the market as it exists than they are to examine how much the online video has grown.

You know the scene: If online video was your cousin/nephew/niece at this time of the year, you'd be saying, "Wow, how you've changed!"

For example, a new report--the intriguingly titled "Global Internet Phenomena From Sandvine"--reports that Netflix is what North Americans overwhelmingly download at peak times of the day. It accounted for 37.1% of the traffic in September and October, the time the data was collected.

Here’s where that gets a little more awesome: That share of traffic figure is larger than the total of all video audio streaming just five years ago, reports Dave Caputo, the CEO.

Netflix’s big foot is actually not much bigger than earlier in the year (36.5% then), which, given the paucity of ratings information, might be saying something about viewer satisfaction, but maybe nothing at all.



If you’re wondering, Amazon Video, which has begun establishing itself as the second biggest source of original long-form programming, eats up just 3.11% of the total traffic, which is good enough for fourth on the list. YouTube takes 17.85%.

But when it comes to mobile video, things change. There the big dog, not surprisingly, is YouTube, which captured 20.78% of all total mobile video downloaded in September and October. But Facebook, which boasts those eight billion video views a day worldwide, accounted for 16% of all North American downstream traffic. That's actually down 3% from a year ago, which is kind of surprising. 

Netflix accounted for just 3.44% of the traffic on those itty-bitty screens.

On laptops and such, entertainment video viewing makes up 70% of the total downstream traffic; on mobile, entertainment video makes up just 41%, with 22% going to social media. That fortifies the idea that someday soon, Facebook will morph much more into a video site, compared to what it is now.

A curious statistical side street to the Sandvine numbers supports the idea that eSports are big business. Sandvine notes that on Aug. 23, Twitch, which allows viewers to watch eSports competition, said it had announced it had attracted more than two million concurrent customers.

They were drawn there by two events: "ESL One: Cologne the the world’s biggest Counter Strike: Go Tournament" and the League of Legends Summer Playoffs.

Though I haven’t personally understood anything I just wrote about those big events (especially the name of the first one as Sandvine defined it), the study reports  “On one East Coast North American network Twitch saw a 50% increase in traffic over its average daily peak levels” because of those competitions. When Sandvine last year noted that Twitch gobbled a larger percentage of traffic than HBO Go, Amazon noticed too and went out and bought it.

Looks like a good idea.
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