Canada loves Netflix and hockey
Michelle Clancy
| 19 September 2014
Canada loves its Netflix: the over-the-top (OTT) network is the leading Internet application in Canada, and on select networks can account for between 30%- 40% of downstream traffic in the peak evening hours.

According to research from Sandvine, three years ago, Netflix accounted for just 13.5% of evening traffic in Canada.

It's a clear leader, too: no other paid OTT video service accounts for more than 1% of traffic in the evening. For comparison, in the United States, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and HBO GO account for almost 7% of peak downstream traffic.

That means that there's room for others to take market share. Accordingly, in what will be one of the first subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service launches by a major North American operator, Canadian cable TV giants Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications have formed a joint venture to introduce an online video service dubbed Shomi, to launch in 2014.

That said, interestingly, P2P file-sharing still represents more than 15% of total fixed network traffic on many networks, while in the US the percentage is below 10%.

And, in a surprise to no one, the research found that Canadians love to live stream hockey, with data from one operator showing that some Olympic men's hockey games accounted for over 35% of traffic for the day.

On the mobile front, Canadians are social butterflies, with over 25% of downstream traffic being generated by social networking apps. The three largest consumers of data being Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But, YouTube is the single largest source of mobile traffic, accounting for more than a fifth of downstream traffic.