Video at the tipping-point

I’m a believer that the future belongs to video. I assert that the dominant communications medium from here on is the internet; the primary character of that medium will be video; and online communication will, therefore, require video skills.

The data below suggests why I think this is the case. Cisco Systems–a key supplier of hardware for the internet’s infrastructure–has developed what they call the Visual Internet Networking Index to forecast the volume of internet traffic over the next decade or more. Some of their projections are pretty staggering.

  • Total IP traffic for 2012 will amount to more than half a zettabyte… A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes.
  • Internet video is now approximately one-quarter of all consumer Internet traffic…
  • The sum of all forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet, and P2P) will account for close to 90 percent of consumer traffic by 2012. Internet video alone will account for nearly 50 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2012.
  • In 2012, Internet video will be nearly 400 times the U.S. Internet backbone in 2000. It would take well over half a million years to watch all the online video that will cross the network each month in 2012.
  • YouTube is just the beginning. Online video will experience three waves of growth. Even with a six-fold increase between 2007 and 2012, current Internet video growth is in its initial stages. Internet video to the PC screen will soon be exceeded by a second wave arising from the delivery of Internet video to the TV screen. Beyond 2015, a third wave of video traffic will result from video communications.


They have some interesting comments about YouTube too.


“YouTube traffic is both big and small: big enough to impress but not yet big enough to overwhelm service provider networks. It is nothing short of amazing that a site launched at the end of 2005 grew to take up 4 percent of all traffic by the beginning of 2007. By Cisco’s estimates,YouTube accounted for 20 percent ofonline video traffic in North America in 2007, and online video-to-PC amounted to 19 percent of overall North American consumer Internet traffic. […] The success of sites like YouTube and MySpace brings to light the social aspect of video. Entertainment is not the sole purpose of video; in addition to delivering information and providing entertainment, video can serve as a centerpiece for social interaction or as a means of expression.”

Between now and 2020 they see three waves of video growth.

The thing is, these are not just big jumps in transmission volume. They will produce waves of opportunities for innovative ways of communicating, interacting and transacting whatever your business is. It’ll be at least as revolutionary as all the things we’ve seen in the past 10 or 12 years, perhaps more so. The next generation of Googles, Facebooks, etc., will be spawned by this high bandwidth space.

The time to start getting your “vision” together and to start planning for how you’ll be different is now.


  1. Great ! I will add this to my bookmarks. TY

  2. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

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