LIVE FROM CES 2016: Online video phenomenon You Tube heralded four factors that will ensure digital video displaces traditional television by the end of the decade, as the company’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl closed this year’s keynote sessions in Vegas.
Setting the scene, Kyncl claimed that 600,000 people cut their tv subscription services in the second quarter of last year. Digital video, he claimed, has overtaken social media as the top online activity, with the average user consuming 1 hour 15 mins of digital video every day, a figure that is growing 25 per cent year on year.
Kyncl pointed to the growth of mobile technology in supporting the success of digital video, while also showcasing the diversity of content generated by digital video services such as YouTube.
“Digital video is inherently mobile,” he said. “Today’s best phones can record in 4K, the batteries last much longer and data speeds are so much faster. The mobile video experience is getting better and better and changing the way we consume video.”
“And the diverse content is another reason why digital video will win the decade. Digital video is diverse and it just so happens that YouTube has the biggest video content library in the world.”
Another factor cited by Kyncl is the marriage of digital video and music. “Video is more important to music than ever before. More than half of all teenagers use YouTube to find music.” Indeed, Kyncl cited the success of Psy’s Gangnam Style music video (around 3 billion views to date) as evidence of how both industries are supporting each other. “We have paid more than $3 billion to the music industry,” he revealed. “Music videos can become massive phenomenons. Artists can earn revenue from these clips rather than giving it to radio stations for free.”
Finally, it’s the ‘immersive’ nature of such content that will also contribute to Kyncl’s vision of digital video becoming the most popular way people spend their time by the end of the decade, “other than sleeping and working.”
“Digital video can provide a much more interactive and immersive experience [than traditional TV]”, said Kyncl, before outlining how YouTube is putting a big bet on new technology such as VR and 360 content.
The company has partnered with camera manufacturer GoPro on the production of 360 content and released an animated, 360-degree interactive video called Special Delivery. It is also working with the New York Times on a VR subscription service via Google Cardboard.