I did a lot of playing with Google Video yesterday. It’s a service that came online in 2005 and allows users to upload and view free video as well as commercial video. Their price point of $1.99 per video matches iTunes. Neither service offers “bundling” (yet) which would make it cheaper for users to purchase large collections of video (you have to pay $1.99 for each video in The Office Season 1 instead of, say, $9.99 for all six episodes.)
In Feb 2006, it was announced that the National Archives was teaming up with Google Video to allow “researchers and the general public to access a diverse collection of historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National Archives via Google Video as well as the National Archives website.” This is sure to give Google Video even more momentum and legitimacy.
My favorite thing about Google Video is that they tend to have many commercials available. I was able to find Apple’s classic 1984 Super Bowl commercial, Terry Tate Office Linebacker, and the Outpost.com commercial where they tattooed their insignia on toddlers (no actual toddlers were tattooed in the making of the video ;) ). They also have a cool feature which allows you to embed a Google Video directly into your web page and stream the video from Google.
One feature that is noticeably absent is a filtering mechanism. Although Google’s policy is to reject video that is pornographic or obscene, there are quite a few videos that are certainly as close to that line as possible. I would like to be able to filter out the trash although I realize that would create a lot more work for Google.