Google tests ad-supported model with free videos

“Google Inc. is now streaming free commercial videos, including television programs and movies, as part of a trial run of an advertising-only business model,” The San Jose Business Journal reports. “Mountain View-based Google’s latest offering is a test to see how online advertisement can pay for consumer access on the Internet, as commercials do for broadcast television.”

“Among the free videos that can now be accessed are movies that include “Billy the Kid” and Charlie Chaplin classics, classic cartoons that viewers were charged $1.99 for previously, episodes of “The Charlie Rose Show,” and wrestling matches,” ,” The San Jose Business Journal reports.

“The company is not making all its videos available for free in the test. Shows such as CBS Corp.’s “Survivor” still cost $1.99. User-generated video content will remain free of charge and without advertising,” ,” The San Jose Business Journal reports. “With the move, Google may be going head-to-head with Cupertino-based Apple Computer Inc., which sells popular shows through its iTunes Music Store.”

Full article here.

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Related article:
Disney says ABC free web TV a hit; more viewers in one month than nearly nine months of iTunes sales – June 19, 2006


  1. The Charlie Rose show is now available for FREE on Google?!!!


    I’ve been waiting for that show to be available for soooo long! Thank you, Google!

    What? Mr. Magoo, too? Talk about gravy on my mashed potatoes! Woo Hoo!

  2. i don’t mind commercials; i really don’t even know any different. If I could get free programs for a 5G iPod, i’d update my 3rd (& 3rd generation) iPod now instead of wait for bigger and better.

    Hate ads but love free

  3. how about a choice then?

    Choices are good.

    Do I want to pay and not bother, or not pay and be bothered?

    Kinna like the property marketers that give big discounts for attenting a tour and marketing/Brainwashing.

    I’m a “Free” kinna guy. my scroll Wheel can zoom through commercials pretty quickly. If they disable that, i’m pretty good at ignoring too.

  4. OMG, did you say “wrestling matches?” As in “PRO wrestling?” Don’t you know that stuff is all FAKE, man? It’s FAKE, I tell ya — all MADE UP! Those guys are WUSSIES!

    Come to your senses, people!


  5. I think Apple has tried the pay for download method and it’s painfully obvious that people only part with their hard earned cash if they know it’s a good show.

    I think Apple may have to resort to a advertiser based TV Show methodology used so frequently on TV.

    Of course the problem is how will Apple support such a method with no income coming in and having to reformat all the video to fit iPods?

    That’s one heck of a loss leader to sell iPods, but if Apple does it, and if the ISP’s don’t scream bloody murder and target the service for extra downloading fee’s, then perhaps they should do it.

    It would be a montrous undertaking though, Google is doing it, but they got lots of cash from advertising revenue. Apple? Profit from hardware sales are not going to make up for it.

  6. Here´s my guesstimate on the number of downloaders of video via iTunes (where one pays):
    5% of the total potential users tries it at least once.
    Of those, maybe 35% buy again at least one more time within a month.
    Of those 35% of 5% total market maybe 2% regularly pay to download (more than two times per month).
    It´s not a real large market – very tiny.

    There is lots of “wow let´s try the new gimmick” at first, but then very, very few continue to use it. (You ever see an Advertisment by Apple to download pay videos via iTunes??? No.)
    And with free video downloads coming fast and furious, fewer will pay for a video download.
    (And now you know part of the reason why Apple stock has cooled.)

  7. el Predicto,

    As for why AAPL price has tanked, mostly seasonality jumped on by hedge funds aided by lack of consensus over when the iPhone, new iPod, home entertainment device, and downloadable movies are coming.

    Competition for TV programs has little real effect, imo, on the bottom line at AAPL, except as a glamor indicator of Apple’s marketing prowess. As more video iPods are sold, the iTunes video downloads will continue to grow explosively. Personally it was great to have a whole season of 24 and Prison Break to watch on a recent long trip to China.

  8. mm: “Personally it was great to have a whole season of 24 and Prison Break to watch on a recent long trip to China.”

    You go a trip to an interesting country and you bury your head watching re-run TV. wooo – I am impressed.

  9. “Competition for TV programs has little real effect, imo, on the bottom line at AAPL,…”

    Sure it does. If people can get their videos for free elsewhere and they run on competitors video players (lots out there and more nice one´s coming and Apple has none) then it will hurt video ipod sales. The key to grabbing a new market is get there first and overwhelm it. That´s how iPod music sales worked.

    If next generation video iPods don´t ever come out or don´t sell well, this is bad news for Apple. iPod sales is what has driven Apple stock up (and now down). All the profits in Apple come from iPod. On Wall Street Apple = iPod.

  10. The Boss,

    Life works out oddly sometimes. I’ve studied a fair amount of Chinese and have a Chinese wife + spent 10 or so years in Asia off and on, mostly in South Korea (which I like better), but quite a few trips to the PRC. Have to say that most of it *is* crowded, polluted, and boring, but nice places such as Hangzhou, Lijiang, and Dali are over the top beautiful, with friendly people and extraordinary food that will never be tasted, alas, in the U.S.

    The flights over the Pacific can be quite tedious, so thank goodness for my ipod!

  11. Thank you Market Maven for such a level headed response.

    I just took a trip to an island (Molokai) which required two hours of riding on a boat.

    I watched Rocketboom and the whole way and thoroughly enjoyed both my travel and the time on the island.

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