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Monday, October 16, 2006

Google Video: Actually, Indies Can't Charge for their Work

I've tweaked Apple repeatedly for making it nearly impossible for independent media-makers to upload content to its iTunes Music Store and charge for it; Apple seems to think that while Disney movies are worth $14.99 and Justin Timberlake songs are worth 99 cents, something made by a lesser-known filmmaker or band (and not marketed by a major studio or label) ought to be given away for free, as audio or video podcasts.

Now, it seems like Google is following the same path.

In January, Google co-founder Larry Page introduced Google Video at the Consumer Electronics Show, telling the audience, "It lets anyone sell video. The content producers can decide what to charge."

Ten months later, Google is still only allowing major content owners -- those with 1,000 hours or more of video -- to charge for their content.

I haven't seen this reported anywhere... but here's a post from a Google employee on the topic:

    It's true -- we have decided to postpone the purchase feature to the general public indefinitely. As you all know, we've been testing this feature with select content providers for some months. We know that many people were looking
    forward to the purchase price feature, but we believe that the direction we're moving now will prove to be better for everyone in the long run. Our apologies for what must seem like a switch, but please remember that Google Video is a very young product, and we are seeing new developments and uses every day as the service grows.

    Even without a purchase option, Google Video is still a way to reach millions of people around the world...

I wonder, given the purchase of YouTube last week, whether Google's attention will ever return to this issue.


  • Nice piece!


    By Blogger Mike Curtis, at 8:55 PM  

  • If what it takes is 1000 hours of video, shouldn't 500 indie filmmakers with 2 hours each just band together under a banner name and go for it? Would it take a similar play to make it happen at Apple? Possibly time to organize an indie filmmaker "label"....?

    I agree that this is intolerable for both Apple and Google, but didn't some similar measure take place for indie music before iTunes actually carried sellable indie music?

    I'd think someone could figure out how to make this work. (And probably cover more than their administration costs with a cut.) Not the ideal solution, but, well -- is it a solution?

    By Blogger R. Zane Rutledge, at 10:31 AM  

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