Netflix dominates internet traffic, just not in Asia

Netflix dominates internet traffic, just not in Asia

  • A new report by Sandvine states that Netflix accounts for nearly 15% of internet traffic globally, but the same doesn’t hold true for Asia or India.
  • Rather than content of accessibility, price seems to be the determining factor for consumers when choosing to subscribe to a streaming-video on-demand service.
  • Data indicated that the potential for Indian video streaming lies in streaming live sports.
While Hotstar and Amazon Prime may be the most popular streaming networks in India, but globally, it’s Netflix that’s dominating when it comes to internet traffic. Nearly 15% of global internet traffic is Netflix according to the Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report. Overall, video rules the roost accounting for 58% of all downstream internet traffic.

While Netflix also dominates in terms of traffic with 27% of the streaming video traffic share, it also means that the video streaming platform and its many embeds are heavier downloads.

That being said, Netflix is yet to make its impact in Asia. According to the report, the majority of video traffic in the area is generated via regional streaming providers followed by Facebook video. They account for nearly 12% of the downstream application traffic share.

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Reports analyse that price is the primary reason that consumers choose to cancel their subscription to the streaming video-on-demand services. And even while choosing to switch over from cable to an online service, price is the primary determining factor.

India’s potential

One area where India’s potential lies is in sports video streaming. According to the ‘State of Online Video 2018’, India has the highest percentage of viewers, at nearly 80%, who said they’d love to watch live sports streams online if only there wasn’t a lag.

That doesn't necessarily spell good news for Netflix who has repeated stated that it has 'no plans' of venturing in to the live sports streaming. As of now, Amazon has secured the rights to stream the English Premier League matches while Hotstar, owned by Star India, has the rights to the cricketing Indian Premier League.

On average, Indians are spending 8 hours and 28 minutes more time watching online videos than they are watching television. The report by Limelight Networks also highlights how the Indian average time spent watching online videos is much higher than the global average of 6 hours and 45 minutes.

Most of the online video content being consumed is movies, followed by news and TV shows. What’s interesting is that India has one of the highest percentages of viewers watching people play online video games.

And, it’s primarily being consumed on a smartphone. The report speculates that the younger generation prefers the portable device while older people prefer streaming on their computers.


The concern with APAC countries primarily watching video on regional streams is that it’s coupled with the fact that the region also have the higher amount of unencrypted traffic.

While it may not be something to panic about, it implies that the local applications aren’t up to code on the latest web protocols. Either way, it’s definitely not good for the viewer.