The Financial Times reports
that Google, having bought YouTube a few years back, is now negotiating
with studios to "launch a global pay-per-view video service by the end
of 2010." Look out, iTunes. Here's the analysis from tech bloggers on
the move that could reshape the Internet video landscape for good:
Illuminates Earlier Google-Verizon Deal These videos would be
streaming, not downloadable. This means that the proposal "would tie in quite nicely with Google's recent deal
with Verizon to gut net neutrality," according to Larence Latif
at The Inquirer. How? "It is likely that Google
will be looking for major Internet service providers ... to deploy some
sort of quality of service ... regime to ensure traffic from Youtube is
handled at a higher priority than others." Latif also points out that
if the service does launch, competitors are likely to aim for
similar setups. But will any of them be able to shell out the cash to Internet service providers on par with Google? Latif adds that Google
et al. "must believe it's inevitable" that they'll be able to "roll
over the US Federal Communications Commission" if they're already
wheeling and dealing like this.
- Guaranteed to 'Shake Up Web Video,' judges Larry Dignan
on ZDNet. "The YouTube pay-per-view effort would be aimed squarely at
Web rivals such as Hulu and Apple's iTunes as well as Netflix and the
cable industry," with Apple naturally being the first one to feel the
heat: "Will you rent a movie from iTunes or YouTube?" The new videos
would also, says Dignan, be "likely to put YouTube on the profitable
side for good."
- And Cable This is part of the "full-on assault on cable," asserts TechCrunch's MG Siegler. Google and YouTube are just one more story. Apple TV is also in the works.
- The 'Big Break' "YouTube must be frustrating for Google sometimes," comments Adrianne Jeffries at ReadWriteWeb. They bought it for $1.65 billion but it "almost seems like more trouble than it's worth," with most of the revenue coming from ads and costly lawsuits eating away at much of that. This deal could change all that.
- The Grand Plan "What's tricky about this service," explains Fast Company's Dan Nosowitz,
"compared to all other digital movie distribution services (Apple's
iTunes, Netflix) is that there isn't currently an officially supported
means to get YouTube videos onto your TV." Windows Media Center just
won't cut it. But "that's where Google TV comes in," he says:
TV is a major push into the living room from Google, consolidating
cable TV, streaming media, and search all into one box ... What it
lacks, compared to other, similar boxes like the Apple TV, is its own
service, and this YouTube rental idea could be just what Google TV
needs to compete with Apple, Amazon, and, indirectly (as it's not a
subscription service), Netflix. Of course, it remains to be seen if
Google TV will be a success. I have my doubts ...
This Isn't Entirely New "Unbeknownst to most users, YouTube has
actually been offering streaming movie rentals from a number of smaller
studios since January," points out Jon Stokes
at Ars Technica. They've been "expanding ... to a wider number of
content partners ...What will launch later in the year, then, will
presumably be a version of the service with most or all of the major
studios on board."
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