Video represents almost 58% of total downstream traffic on the internet, and 15% of all downstream traffic is for Netflix, rising to 19% in the Americas. That is according to network intelligence company Sandvine, based on the behaviour of over two billion subscribers across 150 fixed, mobile, wireless and satellite networks worldwide.

The Global Internet Phenomena Report ranks applications based on their share of traffic, according to certain classified characteristics that enable it to be identified by type.

Although Netflix and YouTube still dominate, there is an ever growing number of other streaming providers capturing consumer screen time.

Video streaming accounts for 58% of downstream and 22% of upstream internet traffic.

Globally, Netflix accounts for 15% of all downstream traffic. YouTube ranks third with 11%, while Amazon Prime ranks seventh with 4%.

Share of all downstream internet traffic for leading video services. Source: Sandvine

Netflix accounts for 27% of all downstream video traffic globally, with YouTube at 21% and Amazon Prime at 6%.

In the Americas Netflix is the number one source of video traffic, while it is YouTube in Europe and other video services in the Asia Pacific region.

Netflix accounts for 19% of all downstream traffic in the Americas, with Amazon Prime ranked fourth at 8%, just ahead of YouTube.

In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, YouTube leads with 16% of traffic, followed by Netflix at 13%, with Amazon Prime fourth at 4%.

In the Asia Pacific region Netflix ranks third, with 6% of traffic, while YouTube is eighth, with 5%. There is more of a mix of regional services, with unidentified media streams accounting for 12% of traffic.

While the dominance of Netflix and YouTube may be no surprise, it is clear that Amazon Prime is also a player. Amazon Prime may account for 60% less traffic than Netflix in the Americas, but it is still slightly ahead of YouTube.

It is also evident that Netflix and YouTube are far less dominant in the Asia Pacific region.

It is interesting that video applications also account for a lot of upstream traffic. The Sandvine report is rather simplistic in this respect, suggesting that “Netflix is constantly ‘bookmarking’ your location”. In practice, video streaming tends to be rather “chatty” as requests are constantly made for chunks of data.

Consequently, Netflix accounts for 5% of all upstream internet traffic in the Americas, while Raw MPEG-TS video from other operators ranks top with 10%. Bittorrent uploads associated with file sharing account for 9%.

The Sandvine report is only one perspective on global internet traffic, based on the experience of its telecommunications company customers. It does not represent usage in India or China, but is probably reasonably representative of countries like the United States.

The Global Internet Phenomena Report is available for download from the Sandrine web site.