Google Video Preps Pay-Per-View Model

Google appears to be gearing up to start charging people who stream video content from the site. While the search giant hasn't yet made any formal announcements, a glitch in several videos streamed on Tuesday suggests that the company is ready to move to a pay-per-view model.

At least two of the site's videos--"How Old People Have Fun" and "Jackass-BMX Roof Crash"--displayed a text overlay Tuesday afternoon asking users to purchase the video to view its full length. That message seemed to be an error, because both videos were available for free in their entirety on Tuesday; by the end of the day, the text overlays had been removed.

Google did not return telephone calls by press time, but it's well known that Google intends to offer videos on a pay-per-access basis. Last month, Google Video head Jennifer Feikin said at a conference that video content would be offered on a pay-per-view model, with content owners setting the price. And in April, when the company solicited videos from users, uploaders were asked to tag the files with a per-view price. Google also intends to take a share of the price--and in some cases, charge the uploader a hosting fee for particularly popular videos.

Speculation surrounding the pay-per-view model suggested that the Google online payments system, Google Wallet, would be used by both downloaders and uploaders to send and receive micropayments for video content.

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