In the same way that sport content was a major driver of pay-TV adoption, sports will be the single biggest driver of consumption for online video. Screen Digest forecast the number of online sports videos (OSV) streams/downloads served in the domestic US market will increase from 5.2bn last year to 10.8 billion by 2012. In the UK the number of streams/downloads will more than double from 398 million in 2007 to 1.2 billion in five years time.
Most significantly, OSV accounted for 35 per cent of all online TV streams/downloads consumed in the US in 2007. In the UK, OSV constituted a 46 per cent share of all online TV consumed in 2007.
Screen Digest forecast that US revenues from domestic OSV consumption will increase from $762 million in 2007 to $2.3 billion in 2012. In the UK, OSV revenues will treble from £23.5 million to £82.9 million. Yet it will be advertising, not subscriptions that will generate the lions share of the revenue from OSV. In the UK advertising will account for 61 per cent of revenue by 2012, up from for 46.5 per cent five years earlier. That will be twice the value of subscriptions. By comparison in the US, advertising and subscriptions will contribute almost equal revenue by 2012 at 41 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.