Netflix uses 4G LTE to take the battle to YouTube in the mobile video stakes

Watching feature length films whilst on a long journey is fast becoming a regular activity for many smartphone owners after new data showed that 4G LTE has caused a spike in the number of people watching Netflix on the go.

Related: Mobile data traffic will increase more than ten-fold by 2018

Citrix’s latest mobile analytics report illustrates that over half the data usage by mobile subscribers comes from viewing any type of video and that long-form videos are showing huge growth since the widespread roll-out of 4G LTE networks got underway.

Even taking this into account, mobile phone owners continue to be glued to social networks with new data showing that 40 per cent of mobile subscribers check their status, post a video or upload a video on a daily basis – though it only registers 10.3 per cent of the total mobile subscriber data volume.

52 per cent of all the data usage comes from watching video content and most of the traffic [81 per cent] goes to YouTube/Google Video, Netflix, Daily Motion and other popular video portals

YouTube/Google Video comes in as number one in all geographical areas and enjoys 57.61 per cent of all mobile video traffic in Europe followed by the Akamai content delivery platform with 13.3 per cent and Facebook takes 8.16 per cent.

Mobile subscribers are 1.5 times more likely to watch video over LTE than they are over 3G networks and the availability of LTE does more to drive a shift in consumption to long-form content such as Netflix and away from YouTube and shorter videos.

iOS devices have a higher video data volume [38 per cent] than Android devices [27.5 per cent] and downloads from the app stores put together account for 13.9 per cent of mobile data usage, even though just 7.8 per cent engage with the respective stores.

Other popular activities that use little data but engage highly with users are info and maps with 37 per cent of engagement, but only 6.3 per cent of data usage, and shops that are used by 30 per cent of mobile subscribers, yet at the same time take just 1.3 per cent of the data.

Citrix also revealed interesting figures around sporting events, such as the 2014 World Cup, that brought to bear just how much data is driven to sites at those times.

Those viewing sport media outlet content over mobile usually only drive 0.5 per cent of the mobile data volume but when there is a large sporting event it accounts for huge spikes in traffic and negatively impacts the subscriber quality of experience in all locations.

The latest set of data was gathered from over 130 mobile operators around the world and is one of the most comprehensive views on mobile data usage available.

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