eMarketer projects the number of online video viewers in the U.S. will grow 31 percent in the next five years, hitting 188 million in 2013, up from 144 million in 2009. In addition, online video viewers will make up 85 percent of U.S. Internet users by 2013, and will achieve 59 percent penetration among the total U.S. population by then, the firm said in a report released today.
The findings are part of eMarketer’s “Video Content: A Premium Opportunity” report, which says that the drivers for this growth will be:
- Improvements to the video stream quality, including HD
- The expansion of content available through mobile platforms
- More diverse content mix including TV shows, short form UGC and full-length movies
- Movement towards clearer monetization models
- Tighter integration between web-enabled devices and TVs
The whole world of online video is going through such a tectonic shift, it’s hard to predict exactly where it will net out. Yes, video quality is getting better and there are more premium content options than ever; but content providers and cable operators are looking at putting much of that content behind subscription walls. It’s possible that could actually reduce consumption. Between Time Warner’s (s TWX) TV Everywhere, Comcast (s CMSCA) OnDemand Online, Netflix (s NFLX), and a supposed Disney (s DIS) subscription service, premium content could choke off its audience before it’s fully realized.