What is Driving so Much Growth in Internet Traffic?

Blog Post created by charliekraus on Jun 18, 2015

Bonnie Halle's latest Friday Blog series, "Big Numbers," reveals some startling numbers regarding Internet traffic growth – specifically, “that 1 zettabyte of data will be processed annually by next year. That’s 168 exabytes a month.” Wow! I started wondering where all that traffic is coming from, and did some research.


Well, a prime suspect is video traffic. Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2014-2019 contains forecasts on video traffic on the Internet. Here is an infographic that summarizes the forecast:

video traffic infographic.png

Where is all this video coming from? Besides the obvious sources (television broadcasters, OTT delivery, and video sharing sites such as YouTube), video is exploding in popularity as a corporate marketing tactic. New apps, such as Periscope, allow anyone with a smartphone to become a broadcaster.


Video is fast becoming the medium of choice for delivering messaging in a “snackable” format, and is one of the best ways to engage audiences. In fact online shoppers who viewed video on retail websites converted at a 400% increase over those who did not, according to Invodo video statistics.


With so much video content available, how is it being consumed? Today, video is predominantly consumed on televisions, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Increasingly, mobile devices are becoming the most popular way to view online video. One thing is quite clear: consumers want to be able to watch video on whatever device they have, whenever they want, and wherever they want. They want an outstanding video experience; no spinning buffering icons—just crisp, high-resolution video.


(Want to dig deeper into the trends? Limelight recently published the 2015 State of Online Video, based on a survey of over 1200 global users and their video consumption habits. The results offer some great insights; check out the report here.)


Given the reality of video consumption today, what’s the best way to deliver video experience your audience expects?


  • Go to the cloud – To thrive at scale, organizations need to take advantage of the world’s growing cloud infrastructure to deliver video. Avoid investing a lot of CAPEX in on-premise solutions that can become obsolete very quickly, such as storage solutions that require large data center build-outs around the world to achieve redundancy and enable rapid file access.
  • Consider your CDN – The Cisco Visual Network Index forecasts that content delivery networks (CDNs) will carry half of Internet traffic within four years. Organizations have clearly realized that the public Internet cannot sustain the amount of traffic coming online, and CDNs are a necessity. But how do you select the right CDN to deliver video? Look for global scale, strong security, and the architecture required to distribute video content at broadcast quality—a different technical challenge than delivering small objects, for example.
  • Leave no device unturned – Video comes in the many formats we are familiar with today, and many more that we will encounter in the future. Consider the importance of being able to automatically convert a single stream into multiple formats including HLS, HDS, MSS, DASH, and RTSP, so that the correct video format will be delivered to each connected device.


Guided by these three rules of thumb, you can prepare your organization for success as video continues to take the Internet by storm.


Limelight Networks combines the power and reach of one of the world’s largest private content delivery networks (CDN) with a purpose-built intelligent platform to deliver your video reliably and at broadcast quality, anywhere in the world. Learn more about our solutions for video delivery and Media and Broadcasters on the Limelight website, or reach me directly at