We’ve been hearing for a long time how video was going to be the biggest traffic generator on our networks. If you thought that was panic talk by the big vendors trying to sell more equipment to handle the video explosion then think again. It’s happening right now and at a pace that defies logic.
YouTube has announced that it has hit an incredible milestone of 1 billion unique monthly visitors, connecting 15 per cent of the planet to the videos they love. And those global fan communities are watching more than 6 billion hours of video each month on YouTube; almost an hour a month for every person on Earth and 50 per cent more this year than last.
But it’s not just user-generated content that is accounting for this steep growth. It seems tat the corporate world has not only discovered YouTube, it has embraced it. YouTube reports that media companies like Time Warner, The Chernin Group, Bertelsman, Discovery Communications and Comcast have all made significant investments in companies that create, aggregate or service content for YouTube in the last 12 months.
Does this represent another shift in the way we prefer entertainment to be delivered to us? Will YouTube challenge the existing network TV and cable providers? YouTube seems to thinks so, now will surely come the monetization stage. It already claims “it is about reaching the passionate fan communities of valuable consumer groups, or Generation C, an audience that influences more than $500 billion in annual consumer spending.”
YouTube says it is seeing “a myriad of brands increasing their media spend, building channels, and discovering first-hand that the interactions they have with their fans on YouTube drive engagement.”
How long before YouTube looks to grabbing some of that $500 billion for itself?