When Walt Mossberg speaks or writes, a lot of people listen and read. So when Walt Mossberg says the internet is fast transforming from a text-centric medium to a video-centric medium, it carries some serious weight and echoes genuine consumer behavior. Walt was recently asked to speak about the rise of online video at a Beet.tv power event at the Embassy of Finland in Washington, DC and had some strong opinions (no surprise there) about the current state of video delivery on the web, and where it is headed. To put the emergence of video in some perspective, chew on this – in December 2007 there were more videos streamed online than searches performed. Yes, you read that correctly. Video overtook search in December ’07 in U.S. volume. While revenues derived from online video are paltry today in comparison to search revenues, many see the writing on the wall – video advertising will eventually usurp television advertising and could overtake search advertising at some point as well.
Eisner predicted that within five years the internet will be as important content-wise as cable or satellite – Michael Eisner; ‘The Time Is Right’; Internet Content To Equal TV In 5 Years
Walt goes on to suggest that the broadcast business ie, television networks, Hollywood studios etc. are where the newspaper and magazine industry were 5 years ago. In other words, offline video creators, producers and distributors need to get serious about web video or watch their influence and revenues erode at an accelerated pace going forward.