“We were surprised related to the low-cost consideration. It’s hard to go a day without seeing some firm lowering their fees to be competitive,” Donahue said. “While tax efficiency is certainly a consideration, people obviously are refocusing on performance more so.”

The ETF industry is dominated by the three big players: BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Global Advisors, which hold a combined $1.9 trillion in assets under management. Nevertheless, others like Invesco PowerShares, Charles Schwab, WisdomTree and First Trust have been gaining traction.

Related: ETFs Are a Hit Among Financial Advisors

Assets invested in exchange traded products, which include both ETFs and exchange traded notes, have hit a new record high of $3.177 trillion at the end of June 2016, according to ETFGI data. The global ETP industry had 6,424 offerings with 12,268 listings from 284 providers across 65 exchanges in 53 countries.

In the U.S., there are 1,936 ETPs from 89 sponsors and 118 index providers listed on 3 exchanges, with $2.322 trillion in assets under management, according to XTF data.

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