Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Google abandons selling videos

Back to the drawing board for a Web2.0 solution to selling video content that works:

After buying the video-sharing site YouTube nine months ago for $1.65 billion, Google plans to stop selling television shows on its homegrown video site.
The company will stop offering download-to-own and download-to-rent programs on Wednesday, according to an e-mail message sent to customers yesterday. Google started selling shows like ”Survivor” in January 2006.
Google’s decision to close the retail part of its video site indicates the company had less success selling content than attracting advertising spending, which accounts for 99 percent of revenue. The purchase of YouTube, where the videos are all free, catapulted Google from seventh to first among video-sharing providers on the Web.

Is the problem that people are already accustomed to not paying for television programming? Possibly. I still have high hopes for pay-for-download High Definition movies, and I think Google's decision points to the failure of television broadcasters to make something people are willing to pay to own.

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