Global Internet Phenomena Report From Sandvine
May 15, 2013

YouTube And Netflix Compete For Mobile Streaming: Sandvine

Enid Burns for — Your Universe Online

YouTube captures over 20 percent of mobile traffic worldwide, though Netflix streams more to the North American audience, according to the Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H2013 from Sandvine.

Netflix's share of downstream mobile traffic almost doubled in the past year. It reached 4 percent, according to the report, up from 2.2 percent in the same report released a year ago. On fixed networks, Netflix controls up to 32.3 percent of downstream traffic during peak periods, PC Magazine reports.

YouTube, by comparison, comprises 17.1 percent of peak downstream traffic in North America. The figure is up from 13.8 percent a year ago. YouTube takes the lead globally on both fixed and mobile networks. YouTube accounts for over 20 percent of mobile downstream traffic in North America, Europe and Latin America.

Apple devices such as iPads, iPhones, iPods, AppleTVs and Macs represent 45 percent of all audio and video streaming on North American home networks. By comparison, tablets and smartphones consume over 20 percent of all fixed data in North America.

"We predict from this data that 2013 will be the year long-form video will make its move onto mobile networks," said Dave Caputo, CEO of Sandvine. "The 'home roaming' phenomenon, the concept of subscribers voluntarily offloading mobile traffic onto Wi-Fi networks, has continued. This combined with increased consumption of real-time entertainment on mobile networks globally, and the doubling of Netflix traffic on mobile networks in North America, suggests that users are getting comfortable with watching longer form videos on their handheld devices."

Home roaming doubled in the past year. As many as 20 percent of all downstream traffic on North American fixed access networks is viewed on a tablet or smartphone. The trend toward home roaming is growing due to carriers discontinuing unlimited data plans. As consumers switch to tiered data plans, the use of a home Wi-Fi network helps budget data usage.

While data plans are being metered, usage continues to increase. European mobile monthly usage increased 25 percent to 311MB. This increase happened in the past six months. Communications applications such as Skype contributed to 7 percent of traffic in Latin America.

File sharing applications such as BitTorrent are beginning to lose ground, however such programs account for 30 percent of traffic on Asia-Pacific fixed access networks. Real-time entertainment accounts for 63.13 percent of traffic on usage-based billing networks, compared to 4.5 percent for file sharing. Real-time entertainment accounts for 61.43 percent and file sharing for 11.67 percent on unlimited usage networks.

"This is the tenth year we have issued the Global Internet Phenomena Report and have witnessed the peak of file sharing, the introduction of Skype and other communication apps and the dominance of online entertainment, namely streaming video," said Caputo. "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. World Cup 2014 next June will be the event that shapes the next evolution of streaming video, as we predict it will be the most streamed event to date."