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November 19, 2005



This is a very thought provoking write-up by Baris -- not only does it raise questions about the future of video delivery, it also makes me wonder what google may look like in a couple of years. It almost seems like Google is poised to skim from the top of the food chain again, this time by indexing and organizing video.. Can these guys repeat the same model one more time? But if they invest in the infrastructure this time, aren't they making a radical change in their business strategy?

Great blog Baris, keep it coming.

Seth Kenvin

Google may contend and plenty of the established powers from media and communications may too. But if a substantial market develops around content like the brothers Karadogan lip syncing, I'm not sure that there will be necessity for any of these parties to play much of a role.

Why is the Chinese backstreet video provided via Google? Probably largely for purposes of caching and fulfilling bandwidth requirements for streaming purposes. But you're becoming aware of it by email and Google's playing practically no other vital role in the experience. As bandwidth issues for video over the Internet become resolved, such companies are fungible intermediaries for the service.

jibjab didn't need any big brother for its Bush-Kerry stuff to catch on. That company did wind up affiliating with Yahoo, but as the quality and disctinction of its content has declined, that affiliation has gained it nothing.

As rich media becomes more widely available from more sources on the Web, consumers will largely interact directly with the producers of the media. There will be meta-roles for functions like search and hosting, but those will not be major seats of power.

Ad syndication will likely also be one of these roles, and a stronger one at that. This is key for Google and the RBOCs and cable companies -- identifying defensible business functions in a world of popular homemade content.

When it comes to professionally produced content, the equations and roles change, but the considerations are no less dynamic and the themes are largely the same: If you're going to be an intermediary, identify how to be a value-adding one.

Cable operators are working hard right now to advance their value-add in delivering vidoe programming through endeavors such as better program guides, stronger user control over viewing, and content protection. Plus many cable companies have content production efforts. The RBOCs, search companies and others had better embark upon similar pursuits in order to carve valuable positioning.

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