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
    Richard, 4 Sep 2009 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re:

    Firstly why do you need to be rude? (people usually resort to such tactics when their opponent has a real point that they don't quite know how to answer properly) however you go on to make a more reasonable response to which my reply is:

    The point when an artform reaches its "sell by date" is often accompanied by some really good examples (eg King's College Chapel, Elgar's Cello concerto) and it can be difficult for those immersed in the time to tell what is going on.
    Also I'm not familiar with the films that you mention - which probably means that their audience is, at least to some extent, specialised. Therefore they probably don't fit quite into the "blockbuster" category that I was talking about. I'm sure that in the late 60's there would have been a version of you who would have railed against the idea (then prevalent) that cinema was on its way out and would have produced a list of films to prove it.

    In the same way as there were still buildings being built (even churches) after 1550 and music being written (even "classical" music ) after the first world war I'm sure that there will still be films being made - its just that they won't be constructed on the old pattern. So they might not be so grand, so well funded and such a pivotal part of culture as they were in the past.

    The real point is that the new technology can do so much more than just provide a long sstream of audio visuals for passive consumption - so why limit it to that?

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