TV networks, major news organizations, and independent producers are all scrambling to create Web videos that will let them snag a portion of the ad dollars flowing online. Ad spending on Internet videos will grow to $4.3 billion by 2011, say researchers—a 455% increase over today. "It's growing faster than any other advertising category," an NBC Universal exec tells USA Today.
NBC, Disney and CBS have moved to create or showcase original Web videos that open up more room for advertising than TV reruns, which may have little room for new ads when posted online. Meanwhile, independent producers can turn a profit quickly on low-budget Internet video, with the creators of hit Internet series such as LonelyGirl15 working with big-name sponsors.