Behind the Great Rise of Digital Video

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By: Diego Vasquez | Media Life Magazine

If cord cutting turns into a real problem over the next few years, and there’s every indication it will, the cable and broadcast networks may have Kevin Spacey to blame. The sudden increase in the amount of high-quality content available via digital video, such as Spacey’s “House of Cards” on Netflix, has been a huge driver of subscriptions and increased online video usage over the past two years, according to a new report from eMarketer. It finds that 77 percent of all U.S. internet users will watch some form of digital video this year. By 2018, more than 212 million people will be watching online video in the U.S. And the number of online TV viewers will grow by 12 percent this year, to 56 percent of all web users.

EMarketer says these people are increasingly drawn to digital video services like Netflix because they offer original content of their own, not just replays of older content. That will be key to the coming boom in cord cutting, a threat that eMarketer proclaims very real, despite networks’ attempts to downplay such worries. Paul Verna, senior analyst at eMarketer, talks to Media Life about Netflix’ growth curve, who the typical digital video user is, and the surge in mobile video consumption.

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