Google Video Adds TV Archives

In an attempt to strengthen its place in an intensifying broadband video market, Google on Wednesday said it has partnered with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to offer thousands of hours of archived interviews via Google Video. The free content--240 hours of which was available Wednesday--includes interviews with TV land's gray eminences like comedy legend Carl Reiner, "NYPD Blue" creator Steven Bochco, and 24/7-cable-news forefather Ted Turner.

While the Academy's content will be offered for free, Google Video plans to soon add fee-based content, said Google Video Director Jennifer Feikin. "We're interested in working with all content publishers to offer their content how they want to offer it to consumers," Feikin said.

Google Video in its current form does not position advertising along with content, and while the new version will at first remain ad-free, Feikin said Google will consider advertising at some point. "We're looking at all the ways that it might be appropriate to add advertising," she explained.

At the moment, publishers are permitted to include advertising in any form with the video they upload to Google Video. Feikin would not say whether or not publishers will always have that luxury. "Right now," she said, "publishers can show whatever they want, including advertising."

Michael Rosen, executive producer of the Archives of American Television, said he jumped at the opportunity to work with Google. "We're hoping this will put us on the map and really increase exposure," said Rosen.

Those in the television industry from Time Warner's HBO to Disney's ABC have donated funds to support the Academy, Rosen said, adding: "The idea is that the industry gives back to make sure its history isn't lost." Rosen also said that while the content is currently ad-free, he is open to the possibility of advertising.

Google has agreed to take on roughly half of the Academy's archives, Rosen confirmed. It has about 455 interviews on record to date, and each averages about three to four hours in length, said Rosen, adding that the video was originally formatted for high-speed Internet streaming.

Users who conduct searches on Google Video--video.google.com--may preview all related video in either a three-across-by-five-down grid format, or vertical list format. If the user is pleased with a particular video, they are invited to watch it on a larger screen.

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