As we all learned last week, Google’s efforts to strike content deals with the major media companies, on behalf of their YouTube division, seems to have hit a wall. Viacom pulled all their video clips, NBC accused them of “Mafioso” negotiating tactics, CBS backed off at the 11th hour of deal talks, while Fox and NBC continued to push their vision of launching a big media-backed YouTube competitor.
All such setbacks notwithstanding, it’s still pretty safe to predict that it’s just a matter of time before one of the big media brands caves in and strikes a ground-breaking deal with Google. And maybe not too much longer before Google starts buying programming directly itself.
What should Google do?
To me the answer is rather simple: Concentrate on search. Their video search at video.google.com should be like their news search at news.google.com. When I start an investigation about a company I normally type it's name on news.google.com to know what's happened to them in the last time. news.google.com is a central point of news search and I don't have to check anymore news site by news site, like I had to do some years ago.
video.google.com should be the same, and it should be just as great. Google doesn't need to become a content provider. It wasn't even necessary to buy Youtube and it seems stupid to me that on their video search they present only videos from Youtube and video.google.com as search results.
The video content is out there, but we don't know how to find it!For instance yesterday I found out by chance that you can see entire shows of the Simpsons or Veronica Mars on Veoh. I got to know this only because a hyperlink brought me to this Youtube clone. I would never have landed on this site.
Why did no search engine tell me that the Simpsons are on Veoh?So Google has to concentrate on video search. When I type "Simpsons" on video.google.com I want to see search results from every possible video website, like they do with normal text websites on their text search.
I know that it is difficult for search engines to index video content. But who, if not Google, could be able to do it?
For photos there are already search engines like Pixsta that reach beyond the current text-based search approach by automatically extracting visual content from images.
Something similar should be possible with videos on Google. Around the search results they can show their advertising as always. Google would then become the universal remote control for an unbounded tv experience on the internet.
Or maybe Dabble will do this job one day. I learned the following about them:
Dabble gathers video data from hundreds of hosting sites, as well as from tens of thousands of other websites, and then keeps a record of where Web-based videos are located, descriptions about the video, who made it, what it's about, how popular it is, and so on.Unfortunately Dabble has one basic problem, at least today: It does not work well. I had to wait about five minutes to get my search result after I typed The Simpsons. That's far too much. Also they did not find the complete Simpsons shows from Veoh but only some one minute clippings.