Digital video will prevail over TV and become the #1 source of entertainment by the end of the decade, anticipates Robert Kyncl, YouTube chief business officer, during his presentation at CES 2016 in Las Vegas. Video on mobile, music and virtual reality will be the drivers of change. Trends and projections towards the 2010 horizon!

January 2016

For 50 years now, TV has never ceased to gain terrain. According to a study conducted by Nielsen, TV viewing peaked in 2009, before TV subscriptions started to fall. On the other hand, online video is booming. Every day, we watch an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes of digital videos, growing at 25% per year. Even more significantly, the youngest millennials are watching more digital videos than TV.

If this trend stays on its course, 75% of all videos will come from the Web by 2020. "Digital video will not grow linearly, but it will grow exponentially. I have no doubt that digital video will prevail over TV and become the single largest way people spend their free time by the end of the decade."

We spend over 5 hours per day watching videos, which feeds a $200 billion economy.

— Robert Kyncl, YouTube chief business officer

Online video over TV: 4 reasons

Why will video prevail over TV by 2020? Robert Kyncl's response revolving around 4 key axes.

Reason #1: Online video is inherently mobile

The war for the remote has come to an end! Smartphones reconcile the family by permitting everyone watch the videos of their choice.

According to new research conducted by YouTube and Nielsen, the time 18-34 year-olds spend on TV dropped 9% last year. Meanwhile, the same audience spends 48% more time on YouTube, with mobile viewing making up the largest source of that growth.

On YouTube, people spend an average of 40 minutes watching videos on mobile, showing a 50% growth from the previous year. This phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down. Larger and larger screens and better-performing batteries continue to enhance the mobile video experience.

Reason #2: diversity of content

"Because YouTube is a democratic platform, everyone can create a video that anyone can watch. And it is that openness that is leading to an incredible content diversity. Not only do we have videos on every topic imaginable, entirely new genres of videos have been born on YouTube, from blogging to make-up tutorials."

Many started with nothing but a webcam and a YouTube account. And now they are realizing their creative ambitions on the global stage. "It is a lot more attainable to be the next PewDiePie than to be the next Tom Cruise."

Reason #3: video and music go hand in hand

Concerts, improv, acoustic versions or remix: YouTube is an endless source of music.

Famous or not, an artist may very quickly bring the house down. Just five days after it was released, Adele's Hello hit 100 million views on YouTube, after record Gangnam Style, the #1 record in YouTube's history. Another fast-rising hit was Silento's first title Watch Me, hitting over 550 million views.

"Rather than give away their music to radio or TV for free, artists and composers now earn revenue from those clips. To date, we've paid over $3 billion dollars to the music industry, and that number is growing rapidly year on year."

Reason #4: immersion and interaction guaranties

Digital video proves a much more immersive and interactive experience than TV. "On YouTube, we made a bet on 360° and 3D video because it provides a much better experience on mobile than on desktop or TV. But for virtual reality to be successful, you need four things to happen: a camera that records video on 3D or 360°; a storyteller who can create appropriate content; a device pour users to view it on and a platform that can deliver video."

YouTube and GoPro have developed Odyssey, a 3D-360° camera that uses 16" GoPro cameras to capture virtual reality video. Virtual reality cameras have also invested in YouTube Spaces worldwide to allow YouTubers to create richer content. On the user side, Cardboard offers users an immersive experience on their smartphones. Finally, al virtual reality videos are accessible on YouTube via Android, and soon via iOS.

If the future of the video is going to be online, it will be driven by creativity and innovation. See you in 2020!