Netflix now second largest driver of web traffic for UK and Ireland

14 May 2014

After just two years, Netflix has become the second largest driver of web traffic on fixed-line networks, accounting for 17.8pc of traffic. Netflix will become the leading source of network traffic across the UK and Ireland within the next year.

According to Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H2014, Netflix now trails only YouTube, which attracts 19.9pc of web traffic.

Other video-streaming services from providers such as the BBC, RTÉ and Amazon account for between 1pc and 3pc individually.

“Just over two years after its launch, Netflix has become the second largest driver of traffic on fixed-access networks in the UK and Ireland,” said Dave Caputo, president and CEO, Sandvine.  

“This rapid ascent underscores how important it is that operators have business intelligence solutions in place to accurately measure and monitor the impact that over-the-top services have on their networks.”

Sandvine notes “cutting the cord” behaviour as being on the rise, whereby individuals are using streaming rather than broadcast as their dominant form of entertainment.

In the US, these kind of users account for 15pc of all video users.

The availability of high bitrate Super HD content to all Netflix subscribers in North America increased Netflix’s peak downstream traffic share from 31.6pc to 34.2pc. Amazon Instant Video continues to gain share, but still only accounts for 1.9pc of downstream traffic.

New net traffic moguls: Twitch and Snapchat

Sandvine notes that Snapchat generates more traffic than any other third-party messaging app on North American mobile networks, accounting for 12pc of total traffic on New Year’s Eve.

On an African mobile network, where the majority of subscribers have talk and text plans, WhatsApp accounts for more than 23pc of traffic due to the introduction of a low-cost, unlimited access plan for the service that is designed to drive data adoption.

On several LTE networks in Asia, third-party messaging apps such as Line or WeChat are used by more than 40pc of mobile subscribers each hour.

Twitch.TV, a live streaming service where video gamers watch each other play, has established itself among the top 15 applications on many fixed networks across the globe, and now generates more traffic than HBO GO on US networks.

During the World Cup, live streaming of matches is predicted to account for more than 40pc of network traffic on some Latin American mobile networks.

“While the app of choice varies drastically between continents and countries, this latest report makes it clear that mobile messaging matters,” Caputo said.

“To remain competitive in the marketplace, mobile operators must be able to create and implement innovative service plans rapidly in order to meet the ever-changing demands of subscribers and combat declining SMS revenues.”

Netflix image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years