How Google’s video security system could impact the media industry

Google announced that it’s going to imprint a tracking algorithm being referred to as a “fingerprint” on video media for it’s video systems (Google Video and YouTube). I had conversations with colleague Jeff Scott over coffee, and we came up with some interesting risk analysis. While the media industry breathes a sigh of relief, what are the business and user impacts for such a system?

Potential risks and considerations:

1) This finger printing system, which is likely invisible to users, could decisively leave small pixels that could eventually be added to create a unique identifier. Sadly, there’s no security system ever that is fool proof.

2) For Google, this could be a media lock in process. Media companies that want to play on the world wide web would go through Google to submit video and for it to become imprinted with the fingerprint.

3) With trust increasing for online distribution, Google will become the IPTV player of choice, furthering it’s mission to organize the world’s information –and generate contextual advertising dollars.

4) Google becomes the cop, and has the power. As Google builds the security system, they become the single police force, and continue to maintain more control.

Other options for media brands
What should Media brands consider before jumping onto Google’s priopriatary security system? Seek other forms of fingerprinting and watermarket, and consider deploying video on other platforms, not just on Google. I expect other video fingerprinting systems to appear that can be leased or sold to media companies, giving more control over content.

So before we embrace the much needed tracking system, let’s first look at the impacts it could have on online media, although dominant, Google is not the only video platform to consider.

  • Hmmm, another reason to use blip.tv. Perhaps not as popular as Google…but more meaningful for the episodically-minded video producer…and not as regimental as youtube can be. Of course, blip.tv could learn something about social interconnection. 😉

    ..alex.

  • They are trying to rule the world through social media.

  • Great points – you could go expand the risks to include setting a precedent for media companies such that they have to provide full copies of their content to *every* video hosting site that allows UGC.

    One area where Google deserves some credit is offering media companies a new option – to share in the profits. This is great for the content economy and diverts it from a spiraling descent into litigation hell.

    (disclaimer – I work for Attributor, a company that is providing a more media company friendly solution)

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  • Great points – you could go expand the risks to include setting a precedent for media companies such that they have to provide full copies of their content to *every* video hosting site that allows UGC.

    One area where Google deserves some credit is offering media companies a new option – to share in the profits. This is great for the content economy and diverts it from a spiraling descent into litigation hell.

    (disclaimer – I work for Attributor, a company that is providing a more media company friendly solution)

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  • Google using video security could prose several risks, you pretty much have labeled the main threats, but as things have now moved in since this post was written, would you agree they have happened?

    Ash