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Google Stays Friends With TV

  • Reuters, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 11:04 AM
Just as Google delves deeper and deeper into online video, the latest craze in Internet media, the company's PR hawks are out in full force to declare it is not a media company. It aims to be friends with media companies rather than compete with them. "Google is a technology company, not a media company," Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience, told Reuters. "If we were creating content ourselves, that would create a bias and could affect how we would position other content. That's why we've been careful not to create a lot of content." Mayer is in Edinburgh, preparing to speak at a conference for TV executives. Her main goal is to assuage broadcasters' fears that Google is intent on taking over online video creation and syndication. Recent negotiations involving Viacom's MTV Networks show that Google is willing to give content producers the lion's share of revenues. Mayer says Google is trying to negotiate fair deals for publishers in order to keep rivals from undercutting the search giant with better ones. She declined to comment on whether the company was in discussions to sign up UK broadcasters, but her appearance at the UK TV conference would suggest that she's on a recruiting trip. If there was any question that online video has become a top priority for the search giant, one need only refer to Google's home page, which now prominently features a link to Google Video. That move has already increased its popularity among video users, according to traffic measurement firm Hitwise. YouTube, of course, is the undisputed leader of the pack. "YouTube does have the lead and a strong and well-done product," she says. "But the space is changing every day, so it doesn't mean whoever's ahead today will remain ahead.

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