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May 11, 2006 / Toby Dayton

For Certain, Online Video Will Displace Traditional TV

As fast as the video content phenomena is sweeping across the web and transforming the media landscape, I think it’s safe to say that the upheaval is just beginning, which is incredible when you consider some of the following statistics: YouTube, a site that allows its community of users and viewers to upload video content, receives 35,000 video uploads every single day and delivers 35 million video views every single day. ROO, an online broadcast company, announced its first video ‘upfront’ for advertisers, the first such event for online video. Rocketboom, one of the web’s most popular video blogs, has 250,000 visitors a day. Internet video ads generated $225 million in advertising revenue in 2005, and IDC forecasts that internet video services will grow to become a $1.7 billion market by 2010. But as impressive and formidable as these numbers are, I believe the full weight of what is happening with online video is even underestimated.

While I have been closely following online video for some time and am thoroughly convinced of its growing impact, the full magnitude truly became clear while listening to ‘This Week in Media,’ an excellent podcast. The hosts were talking about a revolutionary new digital video camera created by Red that represents a quantum leap forward in quality at a very inexpensive price point (relatively). The thought of placing a camera that shoots video at a higher quality than HD into the hands of a mass market (if you can characterize a $17,500 camera as appealing to a mass market) rather than just the top tier of the industry, you can begin to realize that the web will absolutely displace TV over time, and probably sooner than later. And I am not just talking about the networks and cable companies streaming their shows on their sites or distributing them via iTunes. I am talking about professional, amateur, hobbyist, and independently produced video content. TV will, of course, always be around and will constitute a substantial portion of the total media space for a long time. But cameras are getting better, pipes are getting fatter, and online service infrastructure is being built at a phenomenal pace. Major corporate brands are increasingly willing to experiment, ad agencies are coming on board, and pricing/revenue models are being tested. So without a doubt, we will all be happily watching more IP-delivered video content than anyone can imagine in the very near future.

[tags]Online Video, YouTube, Rocketboom, IDC, Red, This Week In Media, Video Downloads, Video Streaming, iTunes, Video Advertising, Video Viewers[/tags]