Google Premium Video Offers Free Test

In an experment on selected (not all) premium video content, Google Video is offering users the ability to watch that content, which would otherwise cost from $1.99 to $14.99 without having to pay. An advertiser banner appears at the top of the screen for the duration of the stream/show. (See example.)

If they are inclined, users can then click on the banner and watch what amounts to a TV commercial, while the content they were watching on Google Video is paused until they return. Involved content producers get a cut of the negotiated price (don't recall if it's PPC only or a hybrid PPC/CPM formula; my guess is the latter).

This test currently involves approximately five advertisers (who were specifically matched with content providers) and does not include any of the user-generated content on the site — addressing a persistent objection and concern of mainstream marketers.

Quick thoughts:

  • This is partly a response to the fact that users aren't watching the paid streams in anywhere near the volume as the free streams on Google Video
  • Google says this is also a response to advertiser demand
  • Generally it's a good move for Google to broaden Google Video's overall appeal at a time of intensifying competition
  • This starts to turn Google into something like an on-demand TV network with traditional, TV-style ads. How will Google navigate these waters with traditional TV content producers? This may be challenging if the program is permanently adopted and broadens
  • If the program does go on, it offers potentially very targeted TV advertising opportunities, as with "click to play," for marketers
  • Will users click on/watch the ads? My guess is that they will when they have a choice

CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX meet Yahoo, Google, AOL, YouTube. And with the ability to deliver Internet content to TVs gaining momentum, might Comcast start to be concerned? That's still a long way off but the TV/video landscape is getting more complex and interesting almost by the week.

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Hitwise May, 2006 Video Traffic:

  • YouTube — 42.94%
  • MySpace Videos — 24.22%
  • Yahoo! Video Search — 9.58%
  • MSN Video Search — 9.21%
  • Google Video Search — 6.48%
  • AOL Video — 4.28%
  • iFilm (owned by MTV/Viacom) — 2.28%
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6 Responses to “Google Premium Video Offers Free Test”

  1. Anon Says:

    I can’t wait to dump Comcast. Everything should be free on demand, not just the 2-3 episodes per month they decide we can see, or the 20 year old movies. If not free, at least charge a flat rate to access the database of available videos. All of them, not just a few “channels”. I have no problem with ads on top or bottom, as long as the service is good (reliable, not choppy, decent selection). And I have no problem surrendering a list of things I might want to buy, instead of more car commercials. Those that don’t want targeted marketing should be able to pay a premium for ad-free streams. This seems so glaringly obvious, yet it’s taken this long for somebody to offer even a trial of such a service.

  2. BlogZinger » Google Premium Video Sponsored Says:

    [...] Greg Sterling, founder of Sterling Market Intelligence, thinks this may be in part a response to a lack of users purchasing of the paid content. Still, the reports that I have seen place Google well behind the video leaders YouTube and MySpace. [...]

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Screenwerk » Blog Archive » Google to Syndicate Video — Content Says:

    [...] This development marries Google Video’s recent trial with ad-supported premium content with Google’s “Click to Play” advertising (the Viacom content will motivate the click that will show the ad). How this gets tied into AdSense/AdWords isn’t yet clear but it’s probably the same rules/terms for “Click to Play” ads. [...]

  5. Search Engine Journal » Google Syndicating Viacom MTV Video With Google Ads Says:

    [...] This development marries Google Video’s recent trial with ad-supported premium content with Google’s “Click to Play” advertising (the Viacom content will motivate the click that will show the ad). How this gets tied into AdSense/AdWords isn’t yet clear but it’s probably the same rules/terms for “Click to Play” ads. [...]

  6. Google Premium Video Offers Free Test | IT Success World - Blog Says:

    [...] The Network Marketing Success Ezine – Filed under Information Technology [...]

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