IBM says video content to drive online growth

Sales of media on the Internet and on cell phones are expected to rise 23% over the next four years, driven by TV networks and film studios putting more of content online, a new IBM study, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report, quoting IBM researchers, said it is estimated that new media sales to grow at nearly five times the rate of traditional media, with the biggest surge coming from the Internet syndication of professionally produced programming, which is expected to jump 33% to $25 billion.

The report added that this growth will come from strategies such as Walt Disney offering episodes of hit prime-time shows 'Lost' and 'Desperate Housewives' for free on ABC.com, or Sony offering a Star Wars-themed multiplayer game on its Web site.

The IBM report is back-dropped by Google's stalled talks with US television networks to provide TV show programming to the top online video service YouTube.

Big media companies like Viacom Inc. and General Electric's NBC Universal are making their programming more widely available on the Internet, but have failed to land distribution deals with YouTube over deal terms and copyright concerns, the Reuters report said.

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