Interesting. About the same time that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed that it will downsize itself into new digs in the Atlanta suburbs, I hear an exec from Cisco Systems tell that over half of Internet traffic is video. Remember, YouTube did not exist at the start of this decade.
Such is the state of the fast-changing Web, something that many folks regarded as a curiosity in the mid- to late ’90s.
Bob McIntyre, CTO of Cisco’s service provider business, passed along some thoughts about the Web and its future in a speech Tuesday in the Atlanta area. As you might guess, increased use of video dominated his speech.
Some of his talk concerned one of Cisco’s companies, Telepresence. The ability to connect people in a virtual setting does seem to have terrific potential. McIntyre noted that Cisco, the company that essentially builds the plumbing of the Internet, last year cut its travel budget from $740 million to $220 million. And AT&T is now a reseller for Telepresence. That makes me wonder whether Delta Air Lines will soon be looking for new HQ.
And the Cisco exec also told of plans by Marriott for Telepresence suites, where customers pay by the hour to hook up with someone who is somewhere else. He predicts that in 3-5 years, iPhones will have a video camera in the front and people will have personal videoconferences that way. And he feels that Telepresence eventually will be embedded in TV set-top boxes.
(I don’t mean this to sound like a commercial. I was not paid for writing this, and I’m not a Cisco stockholder.)
He noted that 60 percent of Internet traffic is video, and that is expected to grow to 87 percent by 2012. The biggest user of video? Education. (Update: Time Warner, which owns HBO and Turner Broadcasting/CNN, has announced that it has reached a content deal with Google-owned YouTube.)
All this online video, though, does not mean the living room is dead. Cisco figures show that TV and on-demand video sales are strong despite the recession. “You can’t take away my TV,” McIntyre said of consumers.
And … “nobody wants to watch (TV) on a laptop unless they’re stuck with it,” he said of archiving shows online. He noted that sites such as Hulu complement services and improve brand recognition.