For a long time, in Hollywood, anyway, we've watched the growth of online video with nervous over-confidence. It's just cats playing piano, we've told ourselves. It's just kids doing skits. It's just silly, el cheapo entertainment.
Nothing to worry about.
Now, though, it's time to worry. From GigaOm.com:
Thought online video would never match the audience numbers of traditional TV? Think again: The top five channels onYouTube get the same number of average daily viewers as the top five U.S. cable channels, I was told by a YouTube spokesperson this week.
That revelation comes at the same time as a whole bunch of new data from traffic management company Sandvine that shows how YouTube is continuing to be a major contributor to bandwidth usage in North America. Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena report shows that YouTube is especially making a big dent in mobile, where it is now responsible for 20 percent of all downstream traffic during peak times.
The free-market conservative in me loves this. Disruptive innovation fuels growth, economic expansion, and busts up complacent oligopolies, like television networks and studios.
On the other hand, I'm paid by those oligopolies, so this news has a bittersweet taste to it.
There's nothing I can do, of course, except watch the new media hordes storm the gates. And there's nothing you can do, either, except this: take pity on me and
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