It’s all good and well for us as viewers (and me as a TV blogger) to talk about the future of television resting with IPTV and provide anecdotal evidence of our viewing habits shifting, but it’s another thing to do as All The Presidents Men taught us and follow the money.

Now, it’s obvious to me that most of the TV we watch in a decades time will be delivered by IPTV. Heck, that’s the reality for me in 2011. But, it’s worth tracking just how many people are joining this video revolution. A new report by Frost & Sullivan ‘Australian Online Video Market’ (written in association with TVN), has found that Australians now watch around 10.2 hours of internet video a week. The growth is attributed to more generous Internet data caps, cheaper broadband prices, and an increase in available legal content.

Resulting from increased viewership Frost & Sullivan believe the value of internet video advertising will grow at a compound growth rate of 42% over the next seven years. This will take the value of internet video advertising from its current value of $54 million to being worth $311 million by 2016. While I suspect that this figure is lowballing the reality somewhat, it is still a very high figure.

The conditions for growth in this space are ripe. With various companies set to move into online videowithin the next year or two to capitalise on its potential (expect to see Netflix, Hulu, and other similar players become known as brands locally), along with established services like Fetch TV, Foxtel On Demand, and Telstra’s T-Box, available content will increase exponentially. And add to that the increased availability of affordable high-speed broadband made possible by way of the NBN rolling out across Australia. That 10.2 hours of internet video watched each week is set to rapidly increase.

Another factor that will impact upon online video consumption will be if/when Apple announce an Apple TV product (not to be confused with their ‘Apple TV’ project) and/or if Google follow through with a similar Android-powered device. Would Frost & Sullivan revise estimations Should such a scenario comes to pass?

Just as the Internet is powered by kittens, television is powered by advertising. The future of television is IPTV, as soon as that dollar figure becomes sufficiently high enough, that future will be our present.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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