Video content has been dominating the Internet for a while now, and a recent report has highlighted this with statistics about global bandwidth usage.
Netflix alone accounts for a whopping 15 percent of worldwide Internet usage, according to the latest Global Internet Phenomena Report released by bandwidth management company, Sandvine.
Movie and TV content accounts for so much bandwidth that the overall category constitutes 58 percent of Internet usage around the world. To put this in perspective, web browsing takes up 17 percent, gaming 7.8 percent, and social media usage accounts for 5.1 percent of the world’s web traffic.
However, at 15 percent on its own, it is obvious that no single video streaming service uses up more bandwidth than Netflix. Their share could have been much higher if the company was not so careful about optimizing its content and compressing video content to more efficiently use Internet bandwidth.
According to the report, “Netflix could easily be 3 times their current volume.”
In order to prove their point, Sandvine compared the file size of the two-hour-long movie Hot Fuzz on multiple streaming services. On iTunes, it ranges from 1.86GB to 4.6GB depending on the selected resolution. On Amazon Prime, it uses up around 1.5GB. In contrast, the version on Netflix only uses 459MB.
The data isn’t at all surprising. At peak times, there are occasions when Netflix’s usage even goes up to 40 percent of the US’s entire Internet traffic.
However, Netflix isn’t the only streaming provider that experiences these spikes. The report by Sandvine also states that, HBO’s platforms, HBO Go and HBO Now, experienced an up to 300% increase in Internet traffic while Game of Thrones is being aired. This suggests that, as other providers step up their game, video streaming may account for an even higher percentage of global bandwidth consumption.