The Insight Research Corp. recently released the results of an industry study which states that streaming media will be a major source of revenue through 2014. They classified streaming media as the transmission of digital audio and video files over an IP network or wireless network in real time or on-demand, while prohibiting users from storing the files locally.
For the next 5 years they predict that revenue from streaming media will grow at a rate of 27 percent per year thanks to more and more people turning to online audio and video. That means over 135% growth through 2014.
Robert Rosenberg, Insight Research president said that the growth is coming as traditional television advertising dollars are shunted into online ads.
However, don't go pulling out of traditional media (television) just yet. It's going to take a couple of years to stabilize the industry's metrics so that base ad rates, market penetration and so forth can be determined. If you're working in TV or movies and so on, now is the time to develop that web series, that book for Kindle, or Iphone app - then make the transition.
***Edit to add - and if you're new to the business, now is the time to start making a name for yourself by creating something and getting it out there.
But it's going to happen. Movies and "TV" pumped directly from the web to your home for free... Or a subscription server where you get all sorts of stuff - movies, series, books, webcomics - all built around a single or group of properties or genres. It's not any different than network TV for free or HBO. It's simply going to come to your home computer or set top box and it will be far more interactive than television ever was.