YouTube Does NOT Equal 10% Of All Traffic On The Internet

YouTube Traffic Numbers
Last week, I saw a lot of bloggers and news sites talking about a press release put out by Ellacoya Networks, a communications equipment company, that says YouTube accounts for nearly 10% of all traffic on the Internet. Yet, I didn’t notice any bloggers who questioned the report or the data in it. The idea that any company would put out a report that says "YouTube alone comprises approximately 20% of all HTTP traffic, or nearly 10% of all traffic on the Internet" without data to back up such a claim, is absurd.

Looking at the details they announced it says they "released findings based on usage data of approximately one million broadband subscribers in North America". So how does 1 million subscribers in only North America account for all traffic on the Internet when the Internet is global?

Plus, Ellacoya Networks can’t even take the data it has and present it properly. It says, "Breaking down application types within HTTP, the data reveals that traditional Web page downloads represent 45% of all Web traffic. Streaming video represents 36% and streaming audio 5% of all HTTP traffic." Say what? If is is "streaming video" like you say, then how can it be HTTP based? Which one is it? Streaming or HTTP?

They use the term streaming and download in the same phrase twice in the four paragraph release. "Presently, as a result of streaming audio and video in Web downloads, HTTP is approximately 46% of all traffic on the network." Are you talking progressive downloads or streaming?

And they end the press release with a quote that includes them saying, "The way people use the Internet is changing rapidly – from browsing to real-time streaming. We expect to see new applications over the next year that will accelerate this trend." That may be, but you didn’t report on anything that was "real-time streaming" based.

The news sites and bloggers should be doing a better job of questioning data like this and not just posting highlights of a press release just so they have another blog post for the day.

  • Here’s a blog criticism for you –
    http://www.slyck.com/story1502.html

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  • Confused

    Why can’t traffic transported by HTTP be streaming? Streaming is a concept, not a protocol. The HTTP protocol might not have streaming in the name, like RTSP. But unless I am mistaken, streaming implies it ‘streams’ to your computer, so you can start viewing a video file without having to download it first.
    YouTube is flash video streamed within HTTP.

  • Xeper

    I’ve recently done a streaming project in a company and i’m making an end term paper about this.
    if it’s HTTP it is not streaming ! I hear alot of people talking about streaming because it’s just a fancy word they’ve picked up somewhere without having a clue what it is. streaming is a technique and not just a concept. It would be rather stupid if streaming would just go over HTTP because that’s not an efficient protocol for something like that. RTMP, RTMPS, UDP, .. these are used for streaming. viewing a file without having to download it does not mean it’s streaming, there is such a thing like progressive download whichis still en enormously popular technique for the immediate delivering of video and i think (not 100% sure though) that Youtube uses a very advanced progressive download system.

  • The good thing about your information is that it is explicit enough for students to grasp. Thanks for your efforts in spreading academic knowledge.

  • Given its nearly three years on from that original post,I wonder what the stats look like now.