In the past 15+ years, online video traffic has experienced a dramatic boom utterly unmatched by any other form of content. According to data provided by Sandvine in their 2022 Global Internet Phenomena Report, video traffic accounted for 53.72% of the total volume of internet traffic in 2021, and the closest trailing category (social) came in at just 12.69%. As this report goes on to highlight, video traffic has become so pervasive that it’s now directly influencing traffic in other measurable content categories (such as on messaging, gaming, and social) where video content is frequently viewed and disseminated.
It must be said that this video traffic phenomenon primarily owes itself to modernizations in the scalability of streaming infrastructure, which simply weren’t present fifteen years ago. A proportionate level of demand for video content was (probably) always there, but the willingness to pause videos and sit through long, frustrating video buffer times certainly put a dent in that demand. Not only has near-infinitely scalable cloud storage reduced the burden of storing large video files, but CDNs (content delivery networks) deployed by video streaming and social media giants in this timeframe have all but eliminated those slow server-to-client buffering times, which initially plagued the user experience.