It may have been YouTube that activated the video revolution around 2006, but there was an entire underlying Video Internet Ecosystem that conspired to enable it starting back as far back as 2002.
Consider one slice of Internet Video category is User-Generated Content. To enable content creation side, small easy-to-use video cameras came onto the market. Home video editing software (like iMovie) was inexpensive or bundled with the sale of new computers. Next in the supply chain, video distribution became free and easy thanks to YouTube, a service that leveraged the inexpensive transit and CDN services. These services leveraged volume pricing with ISPs that interconnected with last mile providers that upgraded the last mile infrastructure (to DOCSIS-3 for example). All of this would not have mattered if it wasn’t for the high-speed wireless plug-and-play networks deployed in every home today. Innovations along each link of the supply chain were required for end-to-end video distribution to work well. Once these services matured, Internet backbones quickly became dominated by video.
Cisco estimates that by 2013, about 80% of all Internet traffic will be video, leading me to coin the phrase, the “Video Internet.” Friends in Japan tell me the Internet in Japan is already 80% video, while others in the U.S. say conservatively 40%-50% of all U.S. traffic was video in 2011. While the term “Video Internet” is still gaining acceptance, I believe it more accurately reflects the dominant traffic type across the Internet today.
It was the innovations across the entire supply chain that activated the Video Internet, a system that is now positioned to service the video distribution needs of the planet.