Move over, YouTube

prairiedog youtubeOnline video got a few shouts of legitimacy in recent days. If you needed proof the buck would not stop at YouTube forever, here are three important milestones for the future of video on the Internet:

-Will Ferrell et al. at (yes, you know their work, remember that video everyone was sending around about the toddler-landlord named Pearl?) received a boost last week from an agreement with HBO for 10% of the site’s value. While the exact figures were not released, Valleywag’s math estimates the deal is worth about $10 million—not a huge amount of cash, but an important milestone. HBO’s investment could prove that studios and networks may have to stop clicking their heels and get on the Web video bandwagon–especially if their biggest stars want a little start-up money for their online escapades.

-ABC has offered advertisers the opportunity to take advantage of makegood ads on their online site. According to Mediapost, due to the writer’s strike some advertiser-guaranteed ratings were not met this past year. ABC now hopes to kill two birds with one stone–satisfy advertisers and encourage them to start thinking more seriously about online ad sales. Given ABC is rated the number one online video site among television broadcasters, it might be a smart move for advertisers.

-A study released by Cisco Systems, Inc. projects online video growth will continue to boom. The network-infrastructure company expects a sixfold jump in Internet traffic with online video accounting for up to 50% of that usage. Even skeptics agree, Web-based video is going to explode in the coming years (that is, of course, if broadband providers don’t start charging users megabucks to watch those cute cat videos everyone loves).

*Update to this post: new comScore metrics show 11 billion videos were viewed online in April. It won’t surprise you which site got the lion’s share of those views (one guess, it starts with You and ends with Tube), but Digital Daily points out what we’ve known for awhile–most of these videos were unmonetized. With numbers like this, it might be a good time to figure out how to get some cash out of these videos.