Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, December 01, 2011

How Video Chat App Usage Will Become Pervasive

Video chat via the Internet is an interactive communication service that has become increasingly common with PC users, but is now expanding to other consumer electronics screens -- including various mobile devices and connected TV sets.

Driven by the ease of use and improved video image quality, the growing consumer and business applications for video communication now seem unlimited.

While many of the video chat software apps can crossover between screen-types, the dynamics in each market are quite unique. Still, all industry players are expected to experience significant growth.

According to the latest market study by NPD In-Stat, they forecast the total number of active video calling users will surpass 380 million in 2015 -- that's a significant increase from the 63 million users in 2010.

"While the mobile arena is relatively nascent, it has fueled much of the growth in usage over the course of 2011," said Amy Cravens, Senior Analyst at In-Stat.

The entry of leading online industry players with significant market presence, such as Google, has been critical in pushing forward the mass adoption of video calling applications.

Currently, the living room market is still quite small. However, In-Stat expects to see significant developments in this market in the coming years.

Key insights from the In-Stat market study include:
  • PC video chat will continue to account for the majority of video calling minutes throughout the forecast period.
  • Skype is the market leader in video calling solutions across screen types: PC, mobile, and TV. 
  • Integration with other applications, particularly social networking, will be a significant market driver. 
  • Active usage rates vary significantly across screen types.