When Google and Viacom announced their video ad trial and download deal last week, I asked a spokesman if that meant the search company had been forgiven for scarfing up video content sans permission and serving it up on an early version of Google Video. I had heard that was one issue holding up a content deal with Google. The response from Viacom: “They are great partners.” That’s just what Google execs want to hear as they push to have it both ways — continue to simply use some content based on fair use or other theories while taking the partner concept beyond advertising and into the content realm through a series of deals large, medium and small.
CBS was among those who accused Google of violating copyright and now sells downloads through the Google Video Marketplace. CBS Digital president Larry Kramer: “We’re quite happy with them. They have more people who have taken more time to understand the business of their partners.” David Eun, Google VP-content partnerships, admitted to the WSJ: “The biggest challenge is explaining to them we’re friend and not foe.” He joined the company in February so has a clean slate when it comes to many of Google’s content grabs. Eun told the WSJ his team is signing hundreds of content deals each quarter; areas include video, books, print publications, local maps and guides.
Google Video gets a boost: Or says Hitwise analyst Bill Tancer, who took a couple of data snapshots after finding out that Google swapped homepage links to Froogle and Groups for Google Video earlier this week. Books, Froogle and Groups have been lumped into a homepage “more” link that in turn offers “even more.” So what does that mean for Google Video? It’s one of the greatest boosts — if not the greatest — Google can provide and Google Video can use the help.
Tancer pulled the numbers for the last few weeks and produced a chart comparing traffic to video.google.com and http://www.froogle.com and reports that Google Video’s traffic more than doubled while its traffic directly from the home page jumped 20 percent.
— Marissa Mayer, VP-search products & user experience, explained the change on the official Google blog: “As our product line evolves, we’re also finding that we have a few destinations that people need to get to directly — sometimes because the user experience relies heavily on browsing (News, Video) or because there’s a different way of searching (Maps).”