By Chris Morris
October 2, 2018

When it comes to devouring bandwidth online, no company can hold a candle to Netflix.

The streaming video giant consumes 15% of the total downstream volume of traffic globally, according to the latest Global Internet Phenomena Report from Sandvine. In the United States, that figure jumps to 19.1% of total traffic.

Demand for Stranger Things and other Netflix shows spikes even higher at night.

“At peak hour on fixed networks, this number can spike as high as 40% on some operator networks in the region,” the study says.

Sandvine does credit Netflix for its superior stream compression technology, noting “Netflix could easily be 3x their current volume and at 40% of network traffic all the time”.

Other traffic hogs on a global scale included HTTP media streams, such as embedded videos on websites, which took up 13.1% of bandwidth; YouTube, which commands 11.4% of the world’s bandwidth; and web browsing at 7.8% of downstream traffic.

Streaming video continues to grow, also. In the U.S., Amazon Prime Video has now surpassed YouTube in data consumption (7.7% vs 7.5%).

Other takeaways from the report include the prominence of piracy, despite the best efforts of studios and companies to fight it. BitTorrent represents 22% of all upstream traffic on the internet, according to Sandvine. And Fortnite might get the lion’s share of the spotlight these days, but League of Legends still has more than 51% of gaming connections among the top 100 titles.

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