Digital voice will be the fastest growing U.S. industry in the next five years, according to a new report from IBISWorld. Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP for short) leads the list of the ten most dynamic industries, which also includes green energy sectors like wind and solar power, and Web ventures in e-commerce and publishing.
A few introductory notes on the full list below. Wind and solar power are such small markets that even a tiny nominal increase in those industries' revenue will look like high-percentage growth. The five companies with markets greater than $30 billion on this list are VoIP, E-Commerce, Biotech, Video Games, Correctional Facilities (esp. state governments offloading costs of imprisonment to private facilities), and Internet Publishing. "Forecast growth" projects average yearly growth for each year between 2010 and 2016.
THE RISE OF DIGITAL VOICE
Think of Skype or Google Voice. These technologies transmit voice, or other communications, across the Internet rather than over a telephone network. But Skype and Google Voice command barely 3 percent of the total U.S. market in VoIP. Where is the real growth in digital voice coming from?
It's coming from cable. There are three broad categories of VoIP. First, there is "peer-to-peer" VoIP, like Skype, which connects two callers on two computers over the Internet. Second, there is virtual VoIP like Vonage, where a special phone turns your calls into an Internet signal that rings on another person's phone. Third, there is cable VoIP like Comcast XFINITY, which delivers Internet calls over a private cable network.