Leon Neal — AFP/Getty Images
By Tom Huddleston Jr.
June 22, 2016

The battle for streaming video viewers figures to continue raging for the foreseeable future. And while Netflix and YouTube still dominate the market in terms of traffic, Amazon’s usage has grown significantly so far this year.

Amazon more than doubled its share of downstream Internet traffic in the first half of 2016, jumping into third place in North America, according to the latest biannual Global Internet Phenomena Report released Wednesday by research firm Sandvine. Amazon’s share of North American streaming traffic surged from 2% a year ago to 4.3% in the first half of the year. Amazon Video’s increase moved it into third place, though the service still trails traffic-guzzling rivals YouTube (17.5%) and Netflix (35.2%) by a distant margin.

Netflix’s share of streaming traffic slipped slightly from 37.1% last year despite the fact that it’s spending more than $5 billion this year on TV and film content while releasing more than 600 hours of original content. Meanwhile, Google-owned YouTube has released its own subscription service complete with original series and films from the video site’s stable of content creators.

 

Amazon Video’s growth this year has come after the e-commerce giant earned surprise victories at the Emmys and Golden Globes within the past year. While original series Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle have both received considerable critical acclaim, Amazon also debuted The Man in the High Castle last fall, and the show quickly became the platform’s most-watched original series. (Like other streaming services, Amazon does not release viewership statistics for specific programs.)

Amazon is following in Netflix’s footsteps for spending big on developing original TV and film content (though the company has remained mum on the exact amount) to increase subscriber numbers and streaming times. The service also recently went after Netflix—not to mention Hulu, HBO Now, and other rivals—more directly by offering standalone video subscriptions (rather than only packaging the streaming subscription with its Prime two-day delivery offering) for $8.99 per month.

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