Netflix has dropped to second place in terms of global internet traffic, behind the combined total of web-based streaming services, according to the latest 'Global Internet Phenomena Report' from Sandvine. After long holding the top spot for bandwidth use, Netflix dropped to 12.6 percent of total downstream volume in the first half of 2019, behind a 12.8 percent share for other HTTP media streaming.

The rise in usage of web-based streaming services from content owners, including cable companies and broadcasters also comes amid growing popularity of piracy services, according to Sandvine. The company said it has measured anywhere from 4 to 25 percent of subscribers accessing at least one illegal video stream on a weekly basis on ISP networks in North America, Europe and the Middle East.

In the Americas, Netflix’s share of downstream traffic for the first six months of 2019 was 12.9 percent, down from 19.1 percent a year earlier. This puts it in third place behind HTTP media streaming and operator-delivered video. That reflects the growing consumption of other streaming options, both paid and free, with the biggest growth coming from operators’ own internet-delivered TV and video services, which accounted for 15 percent of downstream traffic in the region.

YouTube was in fourth place with 6.3 percent, Playstation and Xbox Live downloads each took 2.6 percent, and Facebook accounted for 2.2 percent of downstream traffic in North America.

Altogether, video accounted for 60.6 percent of total downstream volume worldwide, up 2.9 percentage points from 2018. Web traffic was the next biggest category, with a 13.1 percent share (down 3.8 points year over year), followed by gaming at 8.0 percent, social media at 6.1 percent and file sharing at 4.2 percent.

The report also found that Google and its various apps including YouTube and Android accounted for 12 percent of overall internet traffic. BitTorrent, the file-sharing application widely used to download pirated content, is over 27 percent of total upstream volume globally and over 44 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) alone. Facebook apps took 17 percent of downstream internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific region, versus 3 percent worldwide.