Predictions about Google and Online Video

For a variety of reasons, I’m watching the online video space very closely, I see the web moving this direction: Richer media, near-real time, and content being amorphous, and ubiquitous (mobile).

I don’t have any insider information, but here’s my predictions for where Google will be headed for the online video market.

Predictions about Google and Online Video

1) Contextual Advertising
As I understand it, Google makes 80% of it’s revenue from the Search Marketing space, this is not going away. Google will apply a similiar model to Video over the coming year. Here’s how they’ll do it:

A) Contextual Video
If you haven’t noticed already, Google has been experimenting with a new player design. Just like the slick Apple OS, when a user puts the mouse over the video, other contextual videos will show up. This is contextual delivery of content. Just like text based Adsense, this will be offered to marketers who want to connect their videos with an existing channel or content creator. It’s mini-sponsorship.

B) Embedded Ads
In addition to just sponsoring contextually, Google (I predict) will acquire one of the companies that allows dynamic, embedded pre and post roll advertisements. What’s that? This means that a video can have a short and sweet advertisement, before, during, or after a video plays. The trick will to make it as fast as possible. The other way is to include text right on the video, making it clickable, see example.

C) Incentives

What’s in it for the content creator? Just like web managers who deploy adsense, They get a cut of the money.

2) Video Previews on Search
We already know this is coming, see my live conference notes, it was announced that Google will allow video previews in Google results. I’ve got tons of session minutes from the recent Searchnomics conference.

3) Live Streaming
If you’ve been under a rock, then you’ve not heard of companies that provide live video web streaming like Ustream (I advise them) Blog TV, Justin TV, or I predict that Google will launch or acquire a live video streaming service on Nov 18th. Why then? It’s one week before all the families of the world will want to start connecting before the Holiday season. (The week after is Thanksgiving, an American Holiday) The world becomes more connected with free online live video streaming. This tool will evolve to a ‘capture’ tool that will feed into the Web Editor.

4) Free Video Editing Software
Just like Yahoo already has Jumpcut, a webbased video editor, Google will introduce a similiar basic Video editor. Coupled with Google docs, spreadsheet, and other tools, it may be an online or even desktop application that lets users quickly create video edits. This tool will work well with live video streaming as well as archived video. The true video prosumer emerges.

5) Video Search
Not news either, Marissa Mayer told us at Searchnomics that Google is already experimenting with voice to text search ability, as well as scraping closed captions (CC). So in addition to metadata, video content will start to get analyzed for better search and ad results.

6) Measurement
This is the most critical. Advertising dollars don’t shift until measurement is in place. Google is already measuring their YouTube investment and it will continue. Social Media is different than other traditional broadcast methods, as users can interact with the content, talk aobut it, and then share it with others –it’s multi-dimensional. I expect Google to acquire one of these companies that measure online video. Oh yeah, has anyone heard what happened to Measuremap? which was acquired quite a while ago?

So there, that’s what I’ve been thinking about over the last few weeks, I see Google making some strong movements into this space, and here’s how I predict it will happen.

If you’d like to to talk to me further about this, (perhaps for an article) please leave a comment or email me

  • Jeremiah, so much to comment on here.

    A few quick thoughts:
    * Contextual ads – the model’s basically there in all forms, though not all of it is fully rolled out. Also, check out for a contextual ad model with video, a page right out of Google’s book.

    (must run to brunch – will write more later)

  •’s site doesn’t work?

    Also check out Tremor Network

  • Jeremiah – a very thoughtful post. I would add another: Web-wide transparency of re-use – this makes your point about incentives actionable. If I’m a content creator (or mainstream TV publisher), I want to know where my content is appearing. Some of it I would want to get revenue share, while other content can go far and wide as long as they link back to my site. This latter point ties into your measurement item – content creators and publishers can learn a lot from where their content goes.

    Keep up the great stuff!

  • A quick thought on the technology behind video search, related to copyright enforcement:

  • Trying to continue where yesterday’s comment left off (wound up going from a brunch to a BBQ – tough life, I know)… is working fine for me.

    Video Previews in Search – yes, it’s here with universal search, though not without its conflicts. It works for Google Video and YouTube but nothing else, but other publishers probably wouldn’t want it, unless you could offer say a 5-second preview clip and the rest on their site. If you watch a video on, say Comedy Central’s site, it’s much different than if you watched that same Jon Stewart clip in a sea of search results.

    Live video streaming: I’m nowhere nearly as bullish on this as you are. I think it’s more of a fad, something a few more people will use than would have done before the tools made it so much easier but not something that most will bother with. I’m still waiting for the video phone to catch on. Or public webcams. Or even podcasts. The Ask a Ninjas of the world are far outnumbered by the NPRs and Onions producing content in that way. But for Mr. Ninja, it’s a career-maker, so all the more power to the various tools that made it happen for him and his peers.

    Free Video Editing Software – makes sense. And YouTube’s version has been universally panned. GoogTube will do better.

    Video Search – yes, huge opportunity here.

    And measurement is something we’re just getting started with. A huge focus here: how does online video impact offline consumption. Example: consumer A views a 30-second clip of the Transformers movie. Consumer B views a 10-minute clip. Who’s more likely to shell out $10? I’d guess consumer B because 1) they took the time to do it, and 2) if you’re showing 10 minutes there has to be enough other meat left in there (more of psychological rationale than proven fact of course). But how do you prove that? How does ABC prove that them syndicating tons of clips from the next show to TV blogs improve viewership of the show rather than cannibalize it? This is all stuff that needs to be measured big-time, as a huge chunk of online dollars are spent trying to drive these offline events, and the better the proof, the more the $$$ will flow.

  • I’m still wondering why google is creating destination sites in stead of aggregating and organizing the WORLDS information.

    Manual Trackback!

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