Traffic for HBO Go, coupled with a tiny contribution from the new HBO Now service, saw healthy gains during Sunday night’s season five premiere of Game of Thrones, but those levels were still a relative blip when compared to the OTT video being generated by Netflix and YouTube, according to streaming data from bandwidth management specialist Sandvine.
Taking a snapshot of the traffic mix from one fixed network (the ISP in question was not identified) in the eastern U.S. on Sunday (April 12) at 9:30 p.m. ET, Sandvine found that Netflix represented 33.5% of downstream video traffic share, followed by YouTube (15.7%), HBO Go (3.4%), Amazon Instant Video (1.9%), and HBO Now (0.7%).
Update: Sandvine confirmed that those figures do not factor in HBO traffic originating with Sling TV, Dish Network’s new OTT pay TV service for cord-cutters. For its part, Sling TV held firm under the stress of HBO-driven traffic on Sunday night, though a subset of Sling TV subs on the Roku platform did complain of slow app load times.
“This is one network, on one day, and Internet traffic does fluctuate, so it is important to not take these figures to be representative of North America,” Sandvine’s Dan Deeth explained in this blog post, which noted that Sandvine was able to provide its customers with a software update on Friday (April 10) that allowed them to measure HBO Now traffic in time for the GoT premiere.
Still, this limited view of traffic showed that HBO Go, HBO’s authenticated TV Everywhere service, did see a sizable jump on Sunday. In its Global Internet Phenomena Report, released in November 2014, Sandvine found that HBO Go accounted for about 1% of downstream traffic during peak periods in the U.S. But Sandvine also has found that HBO Go usage is typically much higher on Sunday nights versus other evenings during the week.
As for HBO Now’s comparatively small showing, Sandvine chalked that up to the fact that the service had been launched for less than a week, had limited access (offered initially via Apple and to Cablevision Systems’s Optimum Online and subs), and had to fight against typical HBO Go password sharing.
“Even with its minimal impact today. HBO NOW will be interesting to track in the coming months to see how much (and how fast it grows),” Deeth wrote.
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