Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt recently proclaimed YouTube victorious in the battle against traditional television – if such a battle ever even existed. During a recent presentation to advertisers, the chairman said Internet video has already displaced television watching and the future for YouTube is now.
But according to Schmidt, Internet video is not a replacement for television. Instead, he said, it’s a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms for.
YouTube’s global head of content Robert Kyncl said he initially thought that YouTube was like television, but he was wrong. The executive pointed out that television is one-way; YouTube talks back. Said another way, television means reach while YouTube means engagement.
True enough, the web’s go-to video destination is riding a wave of success, what with one billion unique users visiting the site every month. It’s a major milestone that YouTube surpassed back in March but it’s just the beginning, Schmidt suggested. When you factor in Third World nations (most of which don’t have readily-available access to the web), YouTube could easily reach the six to seven billion mark.
Original content will likely be key to the continued success of Internet video. DreamWorks Animation is seemingly in touch with that notion, having just purchased the teen-focused YouTube network Awesomeness TV for a cool $33 million. DreamWorks CEO Jeffery Katzenberg said this is a whole new form of content, content delivery and content consumption. It’s the medium of the future, he said, and the future has already arrived.