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 was “Open 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 last 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 all that said, what does this mean to the individual content provider and information marketer?
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.
Video is about to change the formula for success for ANYONE who does business on the Internet! You can either sit back and watch it happen, or learn how to MAKE it happen! I’ll have more on this subject in a future post.