A new study from ABI Research is predicting that the number of online video viewers worldwide will rise from just over 780 million to 1.3 billion by 2016.

The study, Over the Top (OTT) and Through the Middle (TTM) Video, shows that companies such as Netflix, Hulu and Apple’s iTunes will be at the vanguard of a rapidly increasing industry, driven by a maturity in the over the top (OTT) video industry which will see not only more content but enriched ways of accessing and recommending it.

Said Jason Blackwell, practice director at ABI Research: “Consumers are increasingly engaging with a variety of Internet video services. This rapidly growing ecosystem depends on close cooperation between chipset manufacturers, consumer electronics and set-top box providers, content producers, and service providers worldwide. “is just one example of the rapidly changing environment, with traditional program guides being supplemented by search and recommendations.”

The survey shows that Netflix is the clear current leader in OTT revenues, present on virtually all connected TV and Smart TV platform. iTunes and Hulu each represent about 15% of the current Over the Top market.

“Over time, more viewing of YouTube and historically Internet-based platforms will shift to the living room, opening up significant advertising revenues. This trend will be accelerated based on YouTube’s recently announced increase in VOD content,” added ABI senior analyst Sam Rosen.