Amazon Makes OTT Strides: Study

Netflix continues to generate the most wireline traffic in North  America – and continues to do so  by a wide margin – but Amazon Instant Video is starting to make some inroads, Sandvine found in its just-released Global Internet Phenomena Report 2H 2014.  

The report, based on anonymous data tabulated from Sandvine’s 250-plus customers around the globe over the course of a month, found that Netflix gobbles up 32.39% of aggregate traffic (downstream and upstream) on North American fixed networks, about where it was the last time the bandwidth management firm issued this report about six months ago.

Also on an aggregate basis, YouTube was second (13.25%), followed by HTTP traffic (8.47%), BitTorrent (5.03%), Facebook (2.94%), SSL (secure socket layer, a protocol that nails up a secure channel), iTunes (2.55%), MPEG-Other (2.44%, which includes long tail video from a number of smaller sites), Amazon Video (2.37%) and Hulu (1.2%).

Amazon Video, Sandvine noted, has seen its share more than double in the past 18 months, establishing it as the second-leading paid OTT video service in North America, despite having no presence in Canada.

Sandvine said HBO-sourced video traffic will be worth watching next year, when the premium programmer launches a standalone OTT service that does not require subs to take a pay-TV service from an MVPD. HBO Go, the network’s TV Everywhere platform, accounts for about 1% of downstream traffic during peak periods in the region, offering a benchmark that could help to measure the level of adoption of its coming OTT service.

“With both Netflix and Amazon Instant Video gaining bandwidth share in North America during 2014, it will be fascinating to see how a standalone HBOGO streaming option will impact networks when it launches in 2015,” said Dave Caputo, president and CEO, Sandvine, in a statement.  “The dynamic streaming video market underscores how important it is that operators around the globe have the business intelligence and big data solutions in place to understand the ever-changing behavior of their subscribers.”

Sandvine also found that mean monthly usage on fixed access networks in North America was 57.4 gigabytes, a 13 GB increase from the 44.5 GB observed in its report from a year ago. Median usage, meanwhile, also jumped year-over-year – from 17.6 GB to 22.5 GB – roughly in-line with the 30% to 40% growth rate that many of Sandvine’s customers forecasted for 2014, the company said.

On the mobile side of the equation, Facebook generated the most aggregate traffic (19.43%), followed by YouTube (18.02%), HTTP (11.26%), MPEG (5.72%), SSL (4.63%), Instagram (4.27%), Netflix (4.10%), Google Cloud (4.09%), iTunes (2.96%), and Pandora (2.53%).

Among data trends seen in other parts of the world, Sandvine noted that on fixed networks in the Australasia region, where Netflix isn’t even launched yet, 2.5% of subs are accessing the service, with Netflix representing 4% of peak downstream traffic, making it a top 10 app on a usage basis.