Sandvine, a Canadian network policy control solution maker, has recently published a half-yearly internet traffic report that shows various trends of fixed and mobile data communication worldwide in the first half of 2012. The data reveals the dominance of video streaming on internet traffic. File-sharing protocols like BitTorrent are losing traffic share on the other hand, despite a positive trend in traffic volume. From the data, it can be predicted that real-time entertainment (mostly comprising of streaming video and audio) will rule the internet traffic for a foreseeable future.
In terms of peak period fixed traffic in the U.S. Netflix accounted for 28.8% of the aggregate traffic, the highest amount of traffic drawn by a single service. In the downstream, Netflix occupied one-third of the total traffic. It is followed by YouTube which accounted 14.80% of the downstream traffic and 13.10% aggregate traffic in the U.S. Other video formats that secured positions in the top 10 aggregate traffic ranking include MPEG (2.05%), flash video (2.01%) and RTMP (1.41%). Apple’s iTunes accounted for 3.43% of the total traffic in the U.S. Video streaming accounted for more than 47.37% of the total traffic in the U.S.
In the mobile space, the peak period aggregate traffic share of top video streaming services is 39.43%, with YouTube holding most of the traffic.
This trend is equally visible in Europe, where services like NetFlix or Amazon Video are not that popular. In Europe the highest amount of aggregate traffic in peak period (24.10%) is drawn by HTTP applications through fixed access customers. The next in line is YouTube – holding 20.1 0% share of the total peak period aggregate traffic. Top video streaming applications accounted for 28.53% of the total traffic.
When real-time entertainment ruled the internet traffic in both North America and Europe, file-sharing traffic share continued to slide. However, the traffic volume of file-sharing services increased over the period. In the U.S. file-sharing traffic share has decreased from 19.20% in 2010 to 12.00% in 2012. Among the file-sharing services, BitTorrent is leading with 10.3% stake of the total traffic in the U.S. In the Europe, file-sharing traffic share is higher than 18.88%.
The trends indicate that video streaming traffic will be moving upward for a foreseeable future. With the dominance of real-time entertainment applications and introduction of various counter measures, e.g. six strikes, file-sharing traffic share would continue to downslide.