Kim Peterson has a nice story today on the nascent online video business.
All the big players are moving into online video, but it seems like nobody’s figured out a way to make money beyond selling ads around the clips.
I thought Google had a great concept for a video store that would help content producers charge for their work. Larry Page made a big splash when he announced the venture at the Consumer Electronics Show CES last January, but it hasn’t worked out as promised and today Google Video seems like a flop.
YouTube is the darling, but that could change soon. A Newsweek story raises questions about the legality of some of YouTube’s content; it suggests that content owners will sue if YouTube is purchased by a deep-pocket company such as Microsoft or Yahoo!
Kim’s story raises similar concerns. It quoted a Seattle band member who was concerned that someone posted a clip of the band playing a song it hadn’t released publicly yet.
“It definitely raises issues about creatively letting the cat out of the bag,” he said.
I think YouTube’s going to fade as online video matures and people get more savvy about the value of their content. Instead of giving up their content rights in return for the exposure of YouTube’s platform, people are going to want more control and more money for their work. Maybe then Google or someone else offering a video marketplace — instead of a free for all — will move ahead.