Internet video sites should no longer be considered as rivals to television as they have already displaced the medium, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said.
Speaking at a gathering of digital advertisers in New York City last night, Mr Schmidt refused to forecast when internet video would displace television, instead declaring: "That's already happened."
"It's not a replacement for something that we know," he added. "It's a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms."
YouTube recently surpassed the milestone of a billion unique users a month. Only the Google search engine and social network Facebook are frequented more often by those browsing the internet worldwide.
However, the video site lags behind traditional television in the UK, with the average Briton watching four hours and seven minutes of broadcast television per day and just 20 minutes of YouTube in the same period of time.
Google argues that the phenomenal success of YouTube, launched in 2005, is due to its interactive nature and appeal to a younger demographic who have grown up watching a blend of amateur and professional broadcasters on the internet.
"I thought that YouTube was like TV, but it isn't. I was wrong," said Robert Kyncl, YouTube's global head of content. "TV is one-way. YouTube talks back."
A year ago, YouTube announced its intention to 'reinvent television' by funding the launch of more than 100 channels from well-known media brands and Hollywood personalities.
Yesterday's announcement is a distinct change of tone, with a focus away from content production to the YouTube platform itself.
More 18 to 34-year-olds watch YouTube than any cable network in the United States, and the site's popular system of user comments and thumbs up/thumbs down voting on videos has become an industry standard for video sites and newer ventures such as social news site Reddit.