1 Billion Online Video Viewers Served by 2013

YouTube may soon add signage similar to the golden arches. That’s because the number of people who watch video via the web is expected to quadruple in the next 5 years, rising to at least one billion viewers worldwide in 2013.

A new study from ABI Research, a New York state-based research firm, attributes the increase in online viewers to greater broadband availability and internet connection speeds.

ABI’s study is designed to attract pay-TV service providers looking for ways to migrate their services (and revenues) to the growing online audience. And if pay-TV providers aren’t thinking that far ahead, this study should be their wake up call.

ABI senior analyst Cesar Bachelet also makes the case for avoiding the same path the music industry took, and recognize right now that consumers are going to get their content from non-traditional sources:

Pay-TV providers should refrain from knee-jerk responses, or adopting defensive measures aimed at discouraging consumers from using those services. That would only produce resentment from subscribers and likely defections from their services.

But what does this all mean for the average website owner? It means you can use video to push your product/service/message to an audience that continues to grow each and every year.

Personally, I can’t wait to see which TV network finds global success online. NBC and News Corp’s Hulu is still going strong. And ABC recently won a 2008 Webby Award for its streaming video player.

Ultimately though, it’s the YouTubes of the world that will challenge pay-TV providers to create an online video experience that will satisfy the appetites of next generation video consumers.