YouTube, which transmitted 800 million videos a month last year, expects growth to skyrocket in coming years with more specialty channels backed by advertising, VP for Global Content Robert Kyncil said at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Thursday.
As a result, he predicted, online video will eclipse broadcast and cable channels and become extremely profitable with new advertising.
By 2020, there will be thousands of channels, Internet-based, Kyncil said in a keynote address. Advertisers, like Coca-Cola, are already very pleased with commercials that draw as many as 30 million views at a time.
Kyncil said YouTube, acquired by Google, of Mountain View, Calif., for $1.65 billion in 2006, plans to benefit from this trend, letting more Internet stars like Michelle Phan start their own channels that become hits and attract advertisers like L'Oreal.
During the year, YouTube may also start airing specialty shows produced by the likes of CSI creator Anthony Zuiker, who joined him onstage in Las Vegas, comedian-actor Rainn Wilson and others.
Kyncil, a former Netflix executive recruited to YouTube in 2011, predicted that Internet TV, stimulated by portable devices and smartphones, may account for as much as 90 percent of all Internet traffic soon.
Telecommunications equipment executives at the CES, such as Ericsson's Chief Marketing Officer Arun Bhikshesvaran, an engineer, told International Business Times the equipment providers are all planning for that to happen.
Because it's the Internet, there's flexibility for specialty programming traditional broadcasters won't touch, the YouTube VP said. 'Within a year, there will be a channel for 17 million yoga practitioners in the U.S, Kyncil predicted.
He didn't say where he got his numbers of yoga aficionados.
Nevertheless, the YouTube executive said he was heartened to see that just about all the 2012 TVs on display at CES from manufacturers including LG, Samsung Electronics, Toshiba and Panasonic are Internet-equipped.
On Sunday, the Consumer Electronics Association, sponsor of the CES, predicted slow 2012 TV sales but also said they would all be Internet-compatible.
Google shares were at $629.71, up $3.95, in late Thursday trading. The 52-week high was $670.25.
David Zielenziger is a veteran editor and journalist who has written for newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, Asian Wall Street Journal and EETimes, as well as for...