How Much Internet Traffic Do Streaming Services Use?

Video streaming services are taking over the entertainment world, and they are eating up a big chunk of internet traffic. How much you ask? A report by Sandvine suggests that 58% of the downstream traffic around the world is being consumed by video streaming. Yes, video streaming is using more than half of the internet traffic!

Now let’s see which streaming services use the most traffic.

Netflix is responsible for 15% of the downstream traffic around the world. That’s nearly a quarter of the whole traffic used for streaming. After Netflix, there are HTTP media streams, such as embedded videos on websites with 13%, and Youtube with 11.3%. Amazon Prime is further down the list with 3.7% of the downstream traffic.

If these numbers surprise you, then you should know that even though Netflix compresses its videos efficiently, at peak watching times across the U.S., Netflix can account for 40% of the entire country’s internet traffic.

Regional Downstream Traffic Usage

The Americas

  1. Netflix (30.71%)
  2. HTTP media stream (18.56%)
  3. Raw MPEG-TS (13.22%)
  4. Amazon Prime (11.15%)
  5. YouTube (10.43%)


  1. YouTube (30.39%)
  2. Netflix (23.1%)
  3. HTTP media stream (19.72%)
  4. Amazon Prime (11.6%)
  5. Twitch (6.14%)


  1. HTTP media stream (29.24%)
  2. Facebook video (17.72%)
  3. Netflix (16.28%)
  4. YouTube (14.78%)
  5. Daily Motion (4.94%)

You can see that Netflix and YouTube are consistently in the top 5 for downstream bandwidth in each region that they are active in.

In the list below you can see streaming services in order of highest global downstream traffic usage:

Global Video Streaming Traffic Share

It’s understandable that streaming services like Hulu or BBC iPlayer don’t consume as much traffic. That’s because they are geo-restricted and are not accessible from every country.

Reference: Global Internet Phenomena Report from Sandvine

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