Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Google in bed with Apple

posted by Andy Leff
One more thought about conspiracy theory #1. (Sorry, I just can't turn my brain off about this stuff ...)

Another turn of events that wouldn't surprise me: Google leveraging their warm relationship with Apple to achieve total video domination.

Let's follow the trail of bread crumbs: Google CEO Eric Schmidt sits on the Apple board. Apple sells full-length movies online through iTunes. Once Google owns the short video clip market, it'll want to move to streaming full-length movies.

Hmm ... you smellin' what I'm cookin'? It wouldn't be hard for these media behemoths to craft some sort of mutual profit share, and offer full-length movies for download over YouTube that leverage iTunes' well-regarded DRM and installed base of 88 million iPods.

This, in effect, will give them yet *another* way to monetize their services ($en$ing a trend yet?). Moreover, the natural extension of the user-generated video would be an actual, 'cable-esque network' that lets Google go up against the ABCs, NBCs, and CBSes of the world.

This would pressure traditional networks into signing up for Google video services and live TV content, because they would have no other way of competing with Google and their followers.

It's been widely reported that the large networks already have relationships with Google. And some networks (Fox Interactive and NBC) were believed to be in partnership talks to acquire a video sharing site (Metacafe) to battle Google in the market.

But I don't see how any media company, large or small, can win that battle, because all the eyes -- and the ears -- and the dollars -- belong to Google.

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