Data sent from iTunes represents 1.9% of North American Internet traffic every night, a share beyond all other competing digital storefronts. The number is still very well behind the bandwidth served by Netflix though, which takes roughly one third of nightly home Internet traffic.
The Broadband research company, Sandvine, has been tracking North American bandwidth usage during primetime hours for years and its latest data summarized by AllThingsD
shows that iTunes is ahead of websites like Facebook, which accounts for 1.48% and Amazon, which takes 1.31%.
While iTunes provides video content for purchase or rent, along with music, apps, books and more, it’s video-only providers that dominate bandwidth consumption. Netflix is the king of this as it alone accounts for 32.25% of all nightly downstream traffic delivered over fixed networks to users at home. In second is YouTube, which accounts for 17.11% of traffic, placing it ahead of generic “HTTP” data with 11.11%. BitTorrent, which is a popular file sharing format for users who pirate copyrighted material accounts for 5.57% of bandwidth used.
Rounding off the top five were MPEG video downloads which came in fifth with 2.58%, placing them ahead of Hulu, which streams TV episodes, movies and its own original content with free and subscription accounts available. Hulu finished just a tad bit ahead of iTunes with 2.41%. Apple’s iTunes took seventh place among the top bandwidth consuming options with 1.9%, placing it just ahead of SSL at 1.89%. Rounding out the top services are Flash video (1.72 percent), Facebook (1.48 percent), Amazon (1.31 percent) and HBO Go (0.34 percent).
Another interesting statistic found in the report was that 20% of data that was transmitted was over Wi-Fi to devices such as the iPads and iPhones. This number is up 9% from a year ago. While Netflix continues to remain dominant on home fixed network connections, YouTube is the primary bandwidth consumer among mobile data users, taking up 27.33%.