Netflix dominates peak downstream traffic in North America

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) provided nearly a third of downstream Internet traffic during peak usage hours in North America, according to new Sandvine figures. That represents a slightly lower percentage of overall traffic than the last time Sandvine reported these numbers, a year ago. But Sandvine, a network management tools vendor, noted other subscription online video services such as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and HBO Go saw their relative share of traffic drop more sharply.

Some of that traffic may have gone to YouTube. The percentage of peak downstream traffic attributed to the the site increased to 17.1 percent from 13.8 percent a year earlier. Sandvine credited the surge in YouTube's traffic to the growth of in-home smartphone and tablet use.

Added up, real-time entertainment--streaming video plus streaming audio--made up nearly 70 percent of peak Internet traffic on fixed North American networks. On mobile networks in North America, real-time entertainment accounts for nearly half of peak period traffic, with YouTube responsible for nearly a quarter of that. And outside North America, YouTube is the single largest source of peak period traffic, Sandvine said.

Even on fixed networks, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets make up about 20 percent of the traffic, as customers use their home Wi-Fi connections to access content. Netflix's usage on mobile networks nearly doubled from a year earlier to about 4 percent.

"Video continues to be the trend to watch as devices and tablets cater to higher definition content with larger screen sizes enabling the market for longer form video on mobile," Sandvine CEO Dave Caputo said.

For more:
- AllThingsD had this story
- GigaOM had this story

Related articles:
Netflix adds 2.03M subscribers, sees shares surge
Sandvine: Internet usage soars in North America