4 Reasons Why Digital Video Will Win The Decade

By Tim Bradley

Last week at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer at YouTube, presented the keynote on why digital video will win the decade – and video and content marketers should take note.

But before diving in, let’s refer back to 2012 when Kyncl made some bold predictions. He said that by 2020, “90% of all internet traffic was going to be video traffic,” and “75% of all video people watched in the US was going to be transmitted through the internet.” Fast forward to the CES 2016 Keynote, Kyncl justified his predictions by educating the crowd:

  • “Cisco predicts that video will actually reach around 90% of global internet traffic by 2019 – so a full year ahead of schedule.”
  • “By 2020…digital video will only reach about 60% of the total pie, not 75, as predicted.”

However, Kyncl is standing by his latter prediction because he doesn’t think digital video will grow linearly – currently at 25% a year – but exponentially. “So, this being Vegas, I’m doubling down. I believe digital video will overtake TV to become the single largest way people spend free time before the end of the decade,” states Kyncl.

Per Kyncl, here are four reasons why digital video will win the decade:

1. It’s inherently mobile

Bigger, brighter and sharper screens, longer battery life, stronger and faster data speeds, and better sound quality are all trends producing devices constantly improving on the mobile video viewing experience. “And app makers and publishers, from Snapchat to The New York Times, are all investing in making video a core part of their experiences, accelerating mobile video consumption,” adds Kyncl. “And on YouTube, the average time people spend watching video on their mobile device is forty minutes, a gain of 50% year-on-year.”

2. It’s endlessly diverse

With digital video, not only can audiences share and search, but choose to consume at their leisure. The mobility is “successfully changing the way we consume video into the way we consume books – you can find one on whatever interests you and consume it whenever and wherever you want,” explains Kyncl. “That openness has led to incredible content diversity. Not only do we have videos on every topic imaginable, entirely new genres of video have been born on YouTube.”

3. It’s never been more important to music

Aside from sleeping and working, watching video is the #1 way people spend their time. What’s #2? Listening to music – at just over four hours a day. “And YouTube is a major source of that music,” Kyncl reports, “More than half of all teenagers use [YouTube] as their main way to find and listen to new artists, in large part because we have the biggest and best music library available. If an artist has a live performance, a remix, an acoustic version or an out of print track, chances are you can find it on YouTube. But the best thing about music on YouTube is that music videos can become massive phenomena, whether they’re from established or emerging artists.”

4. It’s immersive in a way TV can never be

CES 2016 product and technology trends in Virtual Reality and 360 video are at the forefront of this statement, and leading content creators around the world are using this technology to tell richer, immersive, and interactive stories.

“Already on Android and soon in iOS, you’ll be able to watch any video on YouTube in VR…making VR truly democratic and primed to grow exponentially,” concludes Kyncl.

These four reasons and trends all point to digital video’s success during the decade.

To watch Robert Kyncl’s Keynote in its entirety with compelling cameos from Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects, Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro, and Chris Milk, CEO of Vrse, carve out an hour for the video below:

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