Netflix + MAMAA (Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, and Apple) generate 48% of growing internet traffic, but their percentage contribution has gone down amid data surges from new app categories and new apps, according to a new report by Sandvine.
“MAMAA” is a widely used acronym coined to represent the five large-cap technology giants, but when talking about terabytes, gigabytes, and petabytes traversing the internet, it is impossible to exclude Netflix, whose 45% growth in internet volume during the first half of 2022 moves it into the top spot for traffic generated by an individual application in what Sandvine calls the “Big 6” (MAMAA + Netflix).
Though these companies still generate a substantial amount of overall internet traffic, there was a 9% decline in terms of their percentage contribution to total internet volume. This means their traffic is now couched amid an expanding number of app categories and greater number of apps, which are producing more data overall. This is contributing to the 23% increase in overall traffic volume Sandvine saw in its H1 2022 data.
According to the report, the role of video in this overall surge cannot be overstated, as video from not only the Big 6, but also up-and-comers like TikTok and Disney+, is contributing a sizable volume of traffic. It is this gluttony of video that now sets Netflix apart from MAMAA, as a video pure play that accounts for 13.74% of total internet volume, 8.78% of upstream volume, and 14.93% downstream. This is how Netflix has taken the throne from Google’s YouTube, whose percentage of total internet volume declined in the first half of 2022.
The report notes that the power of Netflix’s streaming content has enabled the company to claw its way back from its highly publicized subscriber losses of Q1 2022. The billions-of-dollars Netflix invested in video content seems to be paying off, with titles like the “Queen’s Gambit,” “The Crown,” and renewals like “Squid Games” helping it beat even its own expectations. With a gain of 2.41 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2022, Netflix has replenished much of what it lost in Q1and Q2.
Even with Netflix’s substantial volumetric growth, it languishes in the number-two spot in terms of volume “by brand” (as opposed to individual application). In the first half of 2022, Alphabet’s Google was responsible for 13.85% of Internet traffic. Google’s continued dominance is attributable primarily to YouTube, but also traffic generated by a growing empire of platforms and services including: YouTube Shorts, Google Web Apps, Android Market, Ad Analytics, Google Analytics, Google Cloud Storage, Google Docs, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Cloud Messaging, Google Maps, YouTube TV, Waze, Fitbit, and Nest.
Amid these vast properties, YouTube is the biggest bandwidth hog at nearly 11%. The study says YouTube remains a tour de force in the “creator economy,” which Forbes now estimates is worth US$100 billion, globally. To put it in perspective, YouTube’s biggest content creator, T-Series, earns US$450 million, boasting 186 million subscribers (as of the third quarter of 2022).