Surge in Online Video to Drive Significant Web Traffic by 2016

May 14, 2011 12:00 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — A new report by ABI Research suggests that an increasing amount of video traffic will be the reason for the world’s annual Internet traffic to spike from nearly 8,000 petabytes in 2011 to more than 60,000 petabytes in 2016.

“There are basically two types of video use cases that drive heavy traffic: clips from YouTube (and similar sites) that are often shared via other social media, as well as lengthier content like series and even films (e.g. Netflix),” said Neil Strother, practice director at ABI Research. “Video and TV streaming should surpass web and Internet traffic in 2015.”

The report said that the bigger the screen, the more entertainment a device will deliver. Laptops, media tablets and other devices are believed to mimic patterns seen in wired broadband usage, especially when it comes to video.

The traffic generated by these devices is predicted to grow from about 65 percent in 2011 to more than 75 percent in 2016.

Analysts say there are several strategies operators can implement to capitalize on this shifting market.

“Pricing and data policy are relatively inexpensive ways for operators to differentiate their offerings and ease network congestion, if compared to investments in infrastructure,” senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said.

“Operators should better align the pricing and the allowance of data plans with usage patterns. It is an area with a lot of scope for innovation.”

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