Saturday, January 07, 2006

Google video store and Apple

Yesterday, along with the Google pack, Google announced a new service that will sell video over the Internet for interested viewers. The service, which is an extension of the Google video offer, presents an interesting new competitor for the iTunes service of Apple.

Apple has since last year presented a long list of video sources for its iTunes and iPod video. It seems that they are in good shape to fight for the first place as the online video store and video watching gadget.

However, with the introduction of the new Google video store there are several things that must be considered by Apple.

First, is its approach for pricing of web video. While they have been successfull with the flat fee of 99 cents per music on iTunes, this doesn't mean that they can do the same for video. Video is clearly a different thing in the sense that you don't watch it repeatedly; there are videos of different lengths, from the 30 seconds commercial to the 3 hour King-Kong-style movie.

The Google video store has a much flexible method for video pricing: the producer can ask any price they want, even given the video for free. This makes it much easier to reach an initial audience with low prices and make changes progressivelly.

The second thing is the new format that Google video is introducing. This is bad news because there is the potential of much confusion among the different types of videos with competing formats. Google and Apple could well collaborate to try to avoid this kind of confusion.

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