Netflix Still Tops Online Video Viewing… Kind Of

  • Share
  • Read Later

Stock prices may be falling, analysts may be declaring doom and competitors may be waiting in the wings to pounce, but Netflix can comfort itself with one fact: It’s still the single largest consumer of internet bandwidth in North America.

According to the 2011 Sandvine Global Internet Phenomena Report, Netflix creates an estimated 32% of peak “downstream” traffic, with Netflix streaming video responsible for around 28% of all bandwidth usage alone. But despite those figures, Netflix isn’t actually the undisputed king of online video: YouTube offers up substantial competition.

(MORE: Cheat Sheet: How Bad Are Things For Netflix?

While Netflix wins on both bandwidth and median viewing time (42 minutes versus YouTube’s 3; YouTube only takes up 11.3% of peak downstream traffic), Google’s video hub comes out on top in terms of the size of its monthly audience (83% of all broadband subscribers in the U.S., compared with Netflix’s 20%) and percentage of all online video viewing (34.5 versus Netflix’s less-impressive 5).

Netflix may have one last laugh, however; the study found that more people watch Netflix content on an internet-connected television (77% of all Netflix viewing, with 20% watching on a computer and the remaining 3% on a mobile device), while YouTube stays computer-centric (83% watching via computer, 10% on a mobile device and only 7% via television) at a time when web usage in general is moving away from computers and onto mobile devices and web-enabled TVs.

MORE: Financial Analysts Declare Netflix ‘Broken’ and ‘Suffering Nuclear Winter’

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.