82% of Internet Traffic Will Be Video by 2022: Should You Keep Blogging?

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Youtube is the 2nd most popular website in the world. Altogether, people use it to watch 1 billion hours of video everyday. To keep up with the insane demand, content creators upload more than 500 hours of content every minute. By 2023, there will be 3 times more connected devices than people on this planet. That’s even more screens to watch videos on.

Clearly, video is not going anywhere. People seem to prefer to watch than to read. Top Youtube earners are worldwide stars, and they rake in big money. The top 9 Youtube stars of 2019 made a combined $146 million.

Those numbers are mind-boggling, and also make the blogging industry look pretty dismal. If you’re a blogger reading this, you might be thinking to yourself: “I’m better off switching to Youtube if I want to make any sort of descent income online”.

Well as it turns out, not all is lost for you. If you want to know what survival chances you stand as a content creator who doesn’t make videos in 2020 and beyond, then keep on reading. You’ll probably be surprised.

Yes, video is exploding


First, a little more numbers on video content. This is not to rub salt into the wound, it’s important to understand the rest of the article.

The average user spends 40 minutes per day on Youtube. That’s over 4.5 hours a week, or 10 days a year. 10 days of constant watching. And that’s only an average, many people spend much more than an hour per day on Youtube (2 full weeks a year).

But Youtube is not the only platform to watch videos on. Netflix subscribers watch an average of 2 hours of content per day. Facebook clocks in 8 billion video views per day, and video content makes up 11% of all Facebook posts. This number will only increase in the future. Then there’s the latest to the video content game: TikTok. Users spend an average of 46 minutes per day on the app, which is by some measures more time than people spend on Facebook.

What about reading?

55% of all page views on the internet get less than 15 seconds of attention. On average, users read about 20% of the text they see online. Let that sink in. This means people skip 80% of the content.


Well, the people who skip seem to skip a lot. But maybe only a few skip? Wrong. 6 out of 10 users skim through the content rather than actually read it. People just can’t seem to be able to focus enough to read online. In fact, the average attention span of internet users dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2020. Assuming the decrease rate follows the same progression for the next 20 years, it will drop to less than 5.5 seconds in 2040. Barely enough time to read a full sentence.

Again, you might feel like shutting down your blog right away to go create your Youtube channel. Don’t do that just yet. I said in the beginning of this article there is hope, and I meant it.

All is not doomed for writers

Enough of the stats, let’s analyse the situation. First of all, if 82% of the internet traffic will be video by 2023, there’s a good chance most of the rest will be written content. 18% of all the internet traffic is nothing to sneeze at.

Second, I also mentioned that attention spans are getting very low. Sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab people’s attention anymore. It’s getting harder and harder, but it will always be possible, because people want to consume content. That’s not changing. For instance, you see viral articles everyday on Medium. You see viral posts on Facebook, viral tweets on Twitter. People engage with the content, clap, comment, read, get inspired, and some content stands out more than the rest. That’s not changing either.

The point is, all the video stats you just read are no shocker. Yes, video is everywhere, it’s here to stay, and it’s growing at a very, very fast rate. But so is writing, and for every scary video stat, there is a strong case for writing. Let’s take a closer look at the upsides.

The business model for blogging is better

If you’re a video creator who wants to make money with your content, there’s only one place for you to go to, and that’s Youtube. Whether you’re seeking fame, money, or both, Youtube has the monopoly on video hosting. Consequently, they choose their rates.

They choose what ads to display at the beginning of your content, and how much money you make off those ads. If you want to be independent and host your videos on your own platform, outside of Youtube, you can do that. But you won’t make any money.

The number one business advantage of blogging over video creation is this: diversification. It’s a lot easier to branch out when you write. Sure, platforms like Medium and Hubpages also choose how much they pay their writers, and they can change those rates whenever they want to. But you can decide to host your articles on your website as well. There, you decide what you sell, what ads you display (if any). You choose how you monetise your traffic, and you play by your own rules.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s very hard to get people to read your content on your website rather than existing platforms. When you create your website from scratch, nobody will see it. It will be a drop in the ocean. Platforms like Medium give you instant access to an existing audience, some of which is actually looking for content like yours. If you do the work and write great content, you’ll get huge leverage.

Once you start capturing your share of the audience though, it will always be easier to direct people to your own platform than with videos. Yes, you can branch out of YouTube by self-advertising your other businesses. But no, you can’t make money with your videos outside of YouTube. With writing, you can do both: generate an income on the popular platforms, and on your website, sometimes with the same content. It just takes time, and hard work. Which leads me to my second point.

Hard work pays off in the blogging world

Here’s the thing about the video creation market: it’s saturated. There are over 160,000 youtube channels with more than 100,000 subscribers. Big players, and a lot of them. Tough competition.


In comparison, there are less than 30 Medium writers with 100,000 followers or more. You could be tricked into looking at it this way: “it must be incredibly hard to gain followers on Medium”. But the right way to look at it is this: there is more room to grow on Medium and with blogging in general, because there are less big players (for now).

People love, adore, cherish entertainment. That’s what Youtube is all about. Sure, there are some amazing educational channels on YouTube, with super interesting content. But they’re a drop in the ocean. The huge majority of people go to YouTube for one thing: kill time, relax, get entertained.

How do we know this? Well, one great way to get a feel of a specific industry is to look at the main players on its field. Every single one of the highest-paid Youtube stars creates entertainment. That’s what everyone is watching.

The top earning Youtuber made $26 million in 2019, and he is an 8-year-old reviewing toys. The second is a group of friends making trick shots videos, and they made $20 million the same year. The third is a kids show that made $18 million. The only thing close to educational content I found in the list of most-subscribed YouTube channels is Bright Side, and they’re 40th on the list.


The lesson here is this: it’s much easier to scale a blogging business than a video business. Why? Because there are already dozens of Youtube channels making kids shows, trick shots, daily vlogs and gaming videos. Sure you can go out there and create your own, but it’s going to be really hard to start off, and even harder to stand out. It’s going to take a lot of your time to edit, come up with content ideas, shoot, upload… All to land in a saturated market.

One last note: people are less willing to do the work for blogging than for video creation. Everyone is willing to point a camera to their face for the whole day, show you what their life is like, and edit the whole thing into a more or less watchable piece of content. Far less people are willing to sit in a chair all day, face the blank page, write down their thoughts, go through multiple edit rounds, proofread, format, post… and do it all again the next day.

With writing, hard work is rewarded faster and better than with video creation. But of course, you have to do the work.

There will always be readers

People read the news, e-books, pdfs, articles… If you’re a blogger who wants to write one or multiple book(s) at some point in your career, that’s a great idea too. Books are not going anywhere either, they’re just going digital.


There will always be people who prefer reading to watching. It doesn’t matter what percentage of the online users these readers make, or will make. What matters is to put in the work as a writer, to capture their attention. As we just saw, way less people are willing to do that than to post video content. It’s easier to get your slice of the cake.

The attention span argument

Yes, people have very low attention spans in the 21st century. Once a user starts scrolling below the page fold, he/she will allocate only 20% of his/her attention to written content. People scroll faster, faster, and faster.

But again, it doesn’t mean you can’t grab their attention. For instance, long-form stories with 1000 or more words get twice as much engagement time than short-form stories. Readers are also more likely to react to them, leave a comment.


Plus, people who like to read, actually read. They don’t skip. This means that if you can catch these guys’ attention with a piece of content they like, they will stick around. Who knows, maybe they’ll even follow you, or subscribe to your newsletter.

Detox is good for the writing industry

Finally, there is a growing number of people out there who are very much aware of the negative effects of technology on their life and on themselves. These people do notice their decreasing attention spans, their constant longing for always more content, their inability to focus on something for more than 10 seconds, their urge to always scroll. People are becoming more self-aware, and they have a desire to fix those issues: they do a technology detox.


Technology detox is good for the blogging and writing industry. No matter how you present the content, reading an article will always be more relaxing than watching a video. Especially when reading the content on a “minimalist” device like an e-reader, there is nothing getting in your way, stressing you out. No notifications, no ads, no video recommendations, no comments to steal your attention… For instance, users can use apps like Pocket to automatically sync bookmarked articles to their e-reader.

Reading a good article in your couch with a cup of coffee can’t be replaced with anything, and that’s what a lot of people want to go back to. Videos constantly stimulate your eyes, your mind, there’s a ton of things happening at the same time. Reading is far more relaxing. It goes hand in hand with detox.

With the negative side effects of technology infiltrating every single aspect of our personal and private lives, more and more people are going back to basics. They feel the need to relax, and that’s good for bloggers.

In conclusion

People will always read. Even beyond strictly blogging, we will always need words, and people to write them: movie scripts, emails, governmental laws, banking, messaging, stories, books…

Video content is not going anywhere, but neither is writing. One thing is always true: change. So if you’re a blogger, it’s not about ditching writing to go capitalise on video making. It’s about doing what feels right for you.

If your thing is writing, then keep doing that. Whether you’re just starting off, or you’re an established blogger, keep faith in what you’re doing. Put in the work, interact with your audience, reach out to like-minded people. Watch videos once in a while if you feel like being entertained, write if you feel like blogging, and remember to unplug once in a while.

Keep on writing, reading, interacting with your audience.

And enjoy the blogging journey.

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