Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is the top bandwidth hog taking well over one-third of the traffic on the fixed networks across North America. In fact, couples with YouTube, the two streaming giants take more than half of the total bandwidth in the region.
However, according to a recent report from Sandvine, over the last six months, Netflix has been slowly losing the bandwidth battle to its arch rival, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Video. It is not publicly known how many Amazon Video users stream videos from the service. However, Sandvine, an industry observer has the means to monitor this stuff.
The report indicates that Amazon’svideo take about 4.3% of the prime-time internet usage in North America. This is a rise from 1.31% the service enjoyed three years ago. The new figure may not sound impressive but it takes the streaming service on the third spot beating other top streaming services such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes and Hulu, LLC.
Netflix retains its top spot in video streaming accounting for about 35.2% of the internet traffic in the North America over the last one year. YouTube takes the second spot with 17.5%. Netflix drops from 37.1% although the loss is not necessarily a bad signal for the streaming giant.
Amazon is serious about competing with Netflix. Initially, the Amazon Video streaming service was exclusively available to the annual prime subscriber for $99 annual subscription. However, Amazon started offering a monthly Prime subscription for $8.99 in April. The company has also increased its funding for the original programming in a move aimed at luring more subscribers.
The report also notes that, the accuracy of measuring the downstream internet activities is basic an imperfect metric regarding the total time spent by people watching specific services. A decline in the percentage may translate into overall gains with some service providers recording more growth than others. Netflix is still ahead and unmatched by its rivals.
The recent study is based on anonymous subscriber data gathered by Sandvine in March this year over 300 service providers. The gain by Amazon and the decline by Netflix does not mean that subscribers are now watching less Netflix. Instead, the enhancement to the Netflix streaming and compression algorithms is to blame for the drop.
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