From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Google, the category killer

April 14, 2005 9:08 AM

Google is gonna rule the online video space. Right now they're just accepting content, and haven't unveiled how people will access it. Obviously, there will be search, but they've clearly got something else planned... from their FAQ:

Here are our preferred video specs:
NTSC (4:3) size and framerate, deinterlaced
Video Codec: MPEG2 or MPEG4 (MPEG4 preferred)
Video Bitrate: at least 260Kbps (750kbps preferred)
Audio Codec: MP3 vbr
Audio Bitrate: at least 70Kbps (128 Kbps preferred)

In other words, they want high quality video, not what you usually see online. Since most people don't have the bandwidth to watch video of that high quality streaming on their computer, it seems Google has plans to do some pre-downloading rss/newsfeed type thing in the background so people can watch this stuff on their television. Expect an API of some kind to encourage set-top hardware developers to support the Google video service.

Oh, and they've got an ebay-like business model: anyone can choose to charge for their video.

The next big step in the personal video revolution is here.  And Google is now the official category killer.  Everything they do is just so much better than everything else, they can enter any space and destroy the competition almost immediately.

More from the archive in Search, Television.

Google, the category killer (04.14.2005)

Next Entry: Rupert Murdoch just woke up (04.14.2005)
Previous Entry: Praying for Google juice (04.12.2005)

Read the 5 comments.


It looks to me like Google is attempting to jump-start their video-on-demand solution by bypassing the traditional video content producers. After the concept is proven, they hope to get the big boys to participate.

Presumably, Jobs already has a nascent video-on-demand project. I expect he'll be beefing up that staff and paying a few personal visits in the next couple of weeks. He won't give up this market opportunity without a fight.

Apple has a proven ability to implement and market downloadable content. If I was a major video content producer, I'd be seriously persuaded to side with them. Good technical solutions are no match for good marketing, and Apple marketing is almost without peer.

On the other hand, if Google takes a small cut of download sales (or nothing at all), that might be the deciding factor.

Thu Apr 14 2005 5:23 PM


"... if Google takes a small cut ..."

I meant 'smaller' cut.

Thu Apr 14 2005 5:25 PM

Jim Gilliam:

Apple has a proven ability to implement and market [PROPRIETARY] downloadable content [THAT ONLY WORKS ON THEIR HARDWARE].

Thu Apr 14 2005 5:47 PM

Nick Ciske:

Jim: Totally right on on the Apple front. The iTunes music store is great... if you own an iPod.

Although I hope Apple develops an iTV type app that allow you to turn your iMac or Mac Mini into a set-top internet video playing machine. It'd be the perfect reason for everyone to buy a Mac Mini and attach it to their TV!

I really like that Google is not transcoding video into some proprietary or DRMed form- they are using open standards (MPEG 2 & 4) and the cut is pretty good IMHO, the author taking home 70% of sales on a product is unheard of in the traditional publishing realm (books, movie, or music).

Go Google.

Thu Apr 14 2005 7:48 PM


Free, crossplatform, BitTorrent-based video download service:

Mon Apr 18 2005 3:48 AM

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