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Google Video deletes all uploaded videos

Posted by bryan on April 29, 2011 in Cloud Computing, E-Business, Flash with 7 Comments

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Google Video BETA, now BEATUP and shutting its doors (likely due to pressures from MPAA and prospective YouTube Video Rental partners)

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is…

That should be the moral of the story with Google Video, which this month became the latest in a slew of innovative services to hit the chopping blocks in Google. Google Video Search, however, will still be sticking around; just don’t expect to find many videos other than YouTube user-generated content (and illegally ripped/ content), to which I suspect many content publishers will migrate their Google Videos if they haven’t already.

Google’s plan was executed (almost) flawlessly:

  1. First they came for your content, then they got it by promising unlimited storage and bandwidth for your videos
  2. Then, they promised a revenue model for content owners and encouraged them to upload video content to their “Premium” video service
  3. Then, they went for the biggest competitor in the online video industry, then they acquired YouTube to the tune of $1.6 Billion dollars
  4. Then, they asked you to hand over the rights to that content, then they got the rights by changing their terms of use almost overnight
  5. Then, they integrated Google Video’s search results directly with YouTube, giving it a favored position in their Web and Video search rankings for video-related content
  6. Then, they pulled the plug on those “Premium” Google Video services, leaving early adopters and partners stranded
  7. Then, they handed over vital personal data they had no right to record to Viacom without too much of a fight, leaving early adopters and partners further perplexed
  8. Then, they planned big-budget exclusive partnerships with mainstream media outlets, leaving early adopters and partners of YouTube to fend for meager search-advertising revenues against multinational conglomerates like Sony and Fox
  9. Then, they turned on advertising across the board on user-contributed YouTube videos, offering only hand-chosen users a chance to even become a partner to share in the revenue generated by those videos
  10. Then, when they had finally cornered the largest segment of the online video market, they pulled the plug on Google Video’s uploaded videos altogether, leaving publishers only 15 days to download their content or have it deleted forever, which brings us to today’s shutdown.

The only thing they forgot to consider is the humans they harmed throughout the plan’s execution; and in the process they’ve revealed their true motives, profit and shareholder revenue maximization. Furthermore, I’d argue that their “Don’t Be Evil” motto is again at odds with some business decisions; but hey, its the bottom-line so its understandable why they made this decision. In their business, you have to sell ads, and independent video, 2 hour documentaries, and home videos don’t cut it with premium advertisers. Which is why YouTube, through Google’s hand, is increasingly moving to a Hulu-esque position, and this author will predict it is only a matter of time until the great content purge at San Bruno, California; when YouTube announces it will no longer support user-generated content and goes to a premium content only Business Model.

When that time comes, YouTube will be nothing more than (you guessed it) just another TV Channel, albeit one that is accessible 24/7 over the web, and on many platforms. Perhaps the first true Mobile TV network, and there will surely be many to follow; unless the Googlopoly has its way and prevents that from happening, in which case it will be a bleak future filled with mainstream content packaged and sold via the YouTube platform only.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t go in this direction and innovative content publishers continue to break away from YouTube and use it as I believe it was meant to be used, as a platform for short-form content in promotion of full-length features. It was also a loss for Flash as one of the major Flash video services shut its doors and YouTube continues to promote and perfect its HTML5 Video player and iFrame (non-Flash) embeddable player code. Could it only be a matter of time until they also move from the H.264 codec to their new and slightly more “open” WebM format, dropping Flash altogether?