IP video? YouTube now serving up 2 billion daily downloads

There was a bunch of talk about IP video (as opposed to IPTV) and connecting cable to the Internet and the intrusion of the Internet on cable TV at The Cable Show in Los Angeles last week. The consensus among cable execs was that there is no consensus other than the fact that the Internet is out there, and cable's broadband pipe is enabling it.

Now comes a statistic that should add a bit of bounce to the whole Internet-versus-cable-versus-RF-versus-IP debate. YouTube is serving up two billion daily downloads. There's plenty of time to discuss what those downloads might be--and to mock many of them for their amateurism--but the reality is the site is "a stage and we give everyone in the world an opportunity to participate ... (as a) video platform for creating a solution for people to not only upload and distribute their videos but to find and share videos," according to Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder.

Hurley did concede a point that cable execs were making last week: people are only spending abut 15 minutes a day on YouTube compared to five hours watching television. And that played into something that David Zaslav, president-CEO of Discovery Communications said. Long-term content doesn't work on the Web, so "we're now getting more sophisticated putting more short-term content there."

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