Netflix absolutely dominates on South African fiber networks

Netflix is ​​by far South Africa’s favorite online service, according to new data from major internet service provider Vox.

The Internet domain where it hosts video content received more than double the number of visits than YouTube, and it also consumed 50% more bandwidth than Google’s popular streaming service.

Vox recently shared data on the most popular online services and websites among its customers with MyBroadband, revealing that video streaming accounts for the greatest amount of traffic on its fiber network.

The ISP’s information corroborates previous comments from other ISPs that video streaming was consuming a significant amount of bandwidth on their fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks.

Vox has shared several graphs showing the internet usage patterns of their FTTH users over the past month.

This revealed that more than half (54.8%) of all its traffic occurs on streaming protocols.

Web browsing accounted for the second highest proportion of traffic at 12.6%, software updates at 7.9% and online gaming at 5.5%.

Peer-to-peer traffic, which includes BitTorrent, increased by 3.5%.

Historically, this protocol was a big traffic driver, thanks to the many movies and TV shows available on sites like The Pirate Bay.

However, as South Africans increasingly had access to international video streaming services that offered good value for money, BitTorrent usage declined relative to streaming traffic.

Another factor to consider is that some BitTorrent users would use a virtual private network to hide their internet activity.

Even taking that into account, Netflix and YouTube traffic would still eclipse peer-to-peer downloads.

The chart below shows the most popular protocol categories by bandwidth on Vox’s FTTH network.


Main categories of protocols

Vox also provided a breakdown of the most popular online services and websites by visits and bandwidth.

This clearly illustrated which of the streaming services were the most popular.

Video giant Netflix came out on top in both cases, accounting for 37.9% of hit distribution and 21.79% of bandwidth.

It was followed by YouTube, with 14.09% of visits (hosted under the “googlevideo.com” domain) and 14.16% of bandwidth consumption.

After that, hit distribution and bandwidth usage vary slightly.

Akamaized.net ranks third in hit distribution, accounting for 8.47%. Akamai is a content delivery network used by several large organizations ranging from Adobe to League of Legends developer Riot Games.

Microsoft also uses Akamai to distribute its Windows software updates.

Xbox Live and PlayStation rounded out Vox’s top five areas, with 5.22% and 4.75% of visits respectively.

Other Streaming Services

When it comes to bandwidth consumed, the popularity of video streaming services is obvious.

The third bandwidth consumer is Facebook Video, followed by DStv and Instagram Video. These were tracked by Xbox and PlayStation game download platforms.

Another notable observation was that MultiChoice’s video streaming service, Showmax, accounted for 1.16% of bandwidth consumption. This suggests that it has around 20 times less traffic than Netflix.

The tables below compare the major websites and protocols by hits and bandwidth on Vox’s FTTH network.


Top websites by hits


Top Protocols by Bandwidth


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