Amazon Streams Past Hulu & Apple: Study

The volume of video streams originating from Amazon has tripled in the past year, allowing it to zoom past Hulu and Apple, according to data culled by Qwilt, a provider of “transparent” caching systems that counts Mediacom Communications among its customers. 

According to Qwilt’s study of U.S. MSO broadband data, Amazon Instant Video traffic jumped 278% on “some” operator networks s networks in March versus the year earlier.

The numbers come into play as Amazon looks to juice those numbers further with the launch of  Fire TV, an Android-powered box that is tightly integrated with Amazon's own video streaming and electronic sell-through services but also provides access to other apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus and Showtime Anytime.

Despite evidence of increased usage, Amazon Instant Video is still dwarfed by traffic from Netflix and YouTube. According to a study from bandwidth management firm Sandvine released last fall, Netflix and YouTube streaming represent more than half of all downstream traffic on North American fixed broadband networks. 

Amazon, meanwhile, attributed its new spot in the Qwilt rankings to a mix of original fare and library fare, and its subscription-based Prime Instant Video offering.

“We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in great TV shows and movies for Prime members and it’s working,” said Bill Carr, VP of Digital Video and Music for Amazon, in a statement. “As part of their membership, Amazon Prime members can watch their favorite movies and television shows on an unlimited basis, and as we add original content like Alpha House,BoschThe AfterMozart in the Jungle and Transparent, we have no doubt that customers will be even more delighted with the selection available. And now, with Fire TV, customers have the easiest way to access this content.”

In addition to the new Fire TV, Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video are also supported on Kindle Fire tablets, iPads,  Roku boxes, smart TV and Blu-ray models, as well as gaming consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.