Online Video Sees Tremendous Growth, Spurs some Major Updates

New data from research firm Nielsen reveals U.S users spent 45% more time watching online video compared to 2010, and streamed 28% more video. The number of unique video viewers only increased by 3.1% compared to Jan 2010, but a drastic spike in activity means something big has happened during the past year – the personal cloud. One example is Netflix, who enables subscribers to stream full-length movies and TV shows from their PCs and laptops, and also seen a tremendous amount of growth lately.

“When looking at the most engaging video brands as measured by time spent, Netflix was the top destination as the average US video viewer spent more than 11 hours watching video on the site from home and work locations, about four-and-a-half hours more than the runner up, Chinese video site”

Nielsen also reports that MSN/Windows Live/Bing was the fastest-growing video brand month-over-month, and that YouTube easily topped the US online video list with 112.8 million unique viewers.

Massive growth in demand pushed the industry very far throughout the past year, and the next game changer may just be the freshly unveiled iPad 2. Reuters called the device a “think video powerhouse,” and for good reason. The iPad 2’s ability to stream content from apps to Apple TV (including FaceTime and iMovie) make it look like Apple has put a special emphasis on video, but definitely not on Flash. The consumer electronics giant refuses to support the format, claiming it’s very power-consuming and even outdated. But its product line-up does support HTML5, which is probably a good call.

CNET reports video sharing site Medfeedia indicated a whopping g 63% of all videos on the web are HTML5-compatible, compared to a mere 10% in the same period last year. This piece of news represents a huge leap forward for the language due to be complete in 2014, and one that will further boosts it towards becoming a dominant cross-platform format.