Google's Video Store Premiers

The trend for selling video on the Internet "vending-
machine-style" got a huge boost with the announcement by
search giant, Google, that their online video store opened
for business.

On the surface, it appears they'll just sell old episodes
of the "Brady Bunch," "Twilight Zone" and NBA games you
missed.

However, on closer inspection, Google's online Video Store
represents a whole-scale shift in communications power.

For those of you who might have missed it, let me quickly
catch you up.

Last year, Google started publishing TV news content on
their http://video.google.com site.

A short time later, they started accepting content from
anyone with a video camera and something to show.

In very little time, Google started developing a huge grab
bag of everything from community access TV clips to video
game instructions to yoga tips - all on video streaming
over the Internet.

In my opinion, this first stage served the purpose of
gauging market interest and whether enough people would
submit /watch video to make it worth taking the next step
(selling video online).

Obviously, Google thought enough people had enough interest
in consuming video online, because Friday, January 6, 2006
they announced the opening of their Video Store at
http://video.google.com

The store functions like a virtual vending machine,
allowing visitors to stream video right on their computer
screens.

If the copy protection is turned off, Google also enables
users to download some paid video to their iPods and Sony
PSPs to view on the go.

The individual publishers of the video content determine
whether the copy protection gets turned on or off.

Also, content publishers determine the prices for their
videos but, at the moment, most video still comes free of
charge.

I will say, however, that Google's video service isn't
perfect, but it works and, like everything else they do, it
will get better because they operate with enough cash to
make it work (if consumers want it).

With that said, what does all this mean to the individual
content provider?

What does this mean for distribution and consumption of
video content?

First, it opens up a distribution channel for small content
publishers (1-man shows) who could create excellent
content, but, until now, lacked the technical expertise or
server resources to deliver the video over the Web.

Second, it allows content providers to target micro-niche
audiences who cannot be reached profitably through
traditional advertising or distribution channels (Wal-Mart
doesn't carry "Chihuahua Training Tips" videos).

Third, it creates a unique outlet for individual creativity
like never before and will expose consumers to a whole new
world of thought and content.

Though the service has its detractors, the video isn't
high-definition, and the system has some kinks to work out,
Google Video's approach will win out in the end.

Google's model has always been to "keep it simple!"

By making it simple for consumers to find and view video,
as well as making it simple for content providers to upload
and distribute video, Google will find itself at the center
of an online video revolution comparable to the "golden
age" of television in the early 1950s.
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