Does No One Remember That Google Tried And Failed To 'Rent' Videos Online In The Past?

from the short-memory-syndrome dept

The tech press is excitedly discussing the fact that YouTube is looking to work with movie studios to allow movie rentals, with many talking up how this is a way for Google to put in place a new business model for YouTube. But here's the thing: everyone seems to forget that, back when Google first launched Google Video (which was a competitor to YouTube before Google bought YouTube and merged the two), it was based on this very idea. You could "buy" videos on the site to watch. And what happened? It failed pretty miserably. People just weren't interested. Instead, they flocked to YouTube to get all that free content and community, and Google quietly changed around Google Videos' entire business model and concept, and then eventually realized that it couldn't compete, and so it bought YouTube.

So why would people suddenly be willing to pay when something that sounds nearly identical a few years ago failed to get much interest at all? Perhaps culture or technology has changed (it's easier to watch downloaded movies on a TV screen, certainly). But, I have to admit to being rather skeptical of this as a big business opportunity. We've already seen this movie, and it didn't end well.
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Filed Under: content, movies, rent, videos, youtube
Companies: google, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Sheinen, 4 Sep 2009 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Apologies if that came across as rude, the moniker 'buddy' was intended to signify the jovial nature of the initial response. Awkward toneless text does it again!

    Granted, District 9 is more of a cult film given it's virgin director and small global release, but avatar has been James Camerons $200million baby for the last 4 years. It's spanking new 3D visuals and relentless special effects more than suit the blockbuster catagory.

    Iron Man 2 is due for release next year so marketing is currently very small, but it's guaranteed popcorn fodder.

    Smaller, lower budget films are often far better, I agree - however, the general public doesn't, as it's these mindless, money fuelled monsters that make the most money.

    Point in case: Titanic

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