AIMS member and volunteer Drew Young, Director of Creative Services for Evolusent sends in the following perspective on the Google/Youtube deal...
The online video landscape is moving at an incredible pace. Google and Apple are embracing this new medium, while others are still trying to find their place.
When people started downloading songs from the Internet, the music industry responded with a series of public service announcements to get trendsetters to evaluate their ethics. Apple stole the show by embracing the change and offering downloaders a friendlier alternative – the iTunes Store. As of February 2006, the iTunes Store has surpassed 1 billion downloads, boasting an average of 969,074 songs per day which represents more than 80% of the worldwide online digital music sales.
Today, advertising and marketing executives in broadcast and film are facing a similar challenge. Broadband video adoption is at an all time high with over 18 billion videos streamed online in 2005 (compared to 4 billion in the previous year). The question on most peoples mind is whether to embrace the Internet video as an emerging distribution channel or wait for the hype to pass like most overnight trends.
Google's recent acquisition of Youtube is the latest break in a series of market indicators that show an increasing commitment by industry leaders to online video.
Google purchased YouTube for 1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction. The number of Google’s shares will be determined based on the average closing price 2 days prior to the completion of the acquisition. Yahoo’s previous attempt to purchase this consumer generated video property broke down in the negotiations.
Some question how Google plans to handle the impending lawsuits threatened by content owners that disapprove to having their copyrights violated. Some of YouTube’s content break copyright laws making Google a target for lawyers who have been waiting for a revenue model to appear.
Most agree that there is some uncertainty around the future of broadband television. But while the suits fight for their stake in this emerging landscape, consumers are far more concerned with how much longer they must wait for the gatekeepers to get with the times.
Not one to back down from a fight, new rumors suggest that Microsoft is attempting to buy licenses from Blinkx a service similar to YouTube, except for this interesting twist, video clips are uploaded to Blinkx and the system automatically transcribes the audio into search friendly text, allowing videos to be incredibly searchable.