NEW YORK U.S. spending on Internet video advertising will grow at a fast clip in the next four years to an estimated $4.3 billion as users make Web video a regular habit, research firm eMarketer said on Wednesday.
That compares with an expected $775 million in Web video advertising in 2007 and is based on a forecast of nearly 40 percent annual growth or more, eMarketer said.
Internet executives have touted the promise of online video in recent years as more U.S. consumers subscribe to high-speed Web services.
Major media companies, from television networks to movie studios, are experimenting with ways to offer programming online. Google Inc's YouTube video sharing site has enjoyed explosive viewer growth by allowing users to upload a mix of professional and amateur entertainment.
EMarketer said 2008 will mark a watershed for Internet video, when it estimates that more than 50 percent of the U.S. population will have watched video online.
That percentage should reach more than 61 percent of the U.S. population in 2011, with viewership defined as a person who has watched Web video content at least once a month.