Google Unveils Video Player
The move is "probably the most significant play in the online-on-demand video market," said Jupiter Research analyst Gary Stein. "It cuts the distance between producer and consumer," he said, adding "that whole content distribution has been disintermediated."
In April, Google began soliciting uploads of video clips, which allows content producers--including consumers--to have their videos hosted on the Web. Google asked uploaders to tag video files with search terms and set a per-view price on their clips. Google takes a share of the revenue, and in some cases, charges a small hosting fee for particularly large or popular videos. Uploaders also were given the option to allow free downloads of their video content.
With the release of the Google Video Player, the video clips marked by their uploaders as free now can be streamed from the video search results. The player is based on the open-source videoLAN client media player. At this point, no ads--neither video ads or Google's standard search ads--can be served through the video search service.
Gary Stein added that Google's decision to create its own player from open source code allows the search engine behemoth to avoid supporting a video player by a potential rival, while also preserving the flexibility to upgrade or extend the software. Google's move might reflect "a decision to opt for neutrality," he said. "It just gives the greatest degree of flexibility, and it doesn't involve them in any potential political relationships."
Stein also speculated that the recently announced Google Wallet, a planned online payment service, could be used to make payments on video content, which Google can then take a cut of to monetize the video search.