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Netflix eats up 15% of global downstream traffic, almost as YouTube and TikTok Combined

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The billions of dollars Netflix invested in video content last year have paid off, helping the streaming giant to beat even its own expectations. Besides adding more than ten million new subscribers in the second half of 2022 and reporting better than expected revenue, Netflix also had the largest share of global internet traffic.

According to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, Netflix was responsible for nearly 15% of global downstream traffic last year, almost as YouTube and TikTok combined.

According to the 2023 Global Internet Phenomena Report from Sandvine, a vendor of bandwidth-management systems, Netflix is the absolute king in terms of global internet traffic share.

The streaming giant was responsible for one-sixth the world’s total downstream internet traffic last year, the most of any single application. This was a considerable increase from 2021 when it had a 10.61% share in total downstream traffic.

Netflix dethroned YouTube, which saw its share drop to 11.6% in 2022 due to surging interest in viewing TikTok and other short-form videos. Further back but still with a significant share, Disney+ was responsible for 4.5% of total downstream traffic, followed by TikTok, PlayStation, Xbox, and Facebook.

The survey also showed Netflix had the largest share in the global upstream traffic of 8.78%. The streaming giant was followed by HTTP media stream (6.89%), YouTube (5.9%), and generic web browsing (3.85%).

Still, there were significant differences when analysed by region. While Netflix was the king in the Americas and APAC, YouTube retained the crown in EMEA. According to the survey, last year, Netflix generated 22% of total internet traffic in America and 20% in the APAC region. The streaming app was also responsible for the most downstream traffic at 23% in the Americas and 22% in APAC.

On the other hand, YouTube still reigns in EMEA, with 18% of the total, 19% downstream, and 11% of upstream internet traffic. Netflix ranked fifth for total and downstream traffic in this region.

As the global demand for video content continues soaring, most platforms are embedding and spreading video within apps to increase views and engagement.

According to the Sandvine survey, video accounted for an impressive 66% of total internet volume in the first half of 2022, showing a massive 24% increase year-over-year. Far below, the marketplace ranked as the second-largest category, with a 5.83% share. Gaming followed, with 5.58%, respectively.

With the younger people fleeing social networking and messaging platforms for short, algorithmically personalized video content, which they get on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, the social networking category dropped to fourth place with a 5.26% share in total internet volume.

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