Why is Google trying to compete with YouTube?

Google video seems to be trying awfully hard to compete with YouTube, and frankly failing miserably. They’re in good company as the YouTube juggernaut continues to crush all competitors – did you notice how Alexa is reporting that YouTube is getting more unique visitors than myspaceholy crap!

I don’t understand Google’s strategy. Let’s face it, their strength is not in capturing the hearts and minds of teenagers online.

What Google should do is to play to their strengths. Those strengths are search, solving hard problems, and building mad scalable infrastructure. What they need to do is to provide the equivalent of Amazon’s S3 service for online video. They already have all the pieces: video transcoding, video hosting, scalable storage and bandwidth. Why not outsource all those functions for the 200+ video hosting sites on the web? Let those sites duke it out on dating features and customizable avatars. By leveraging their scale, Google could probably save those companies money, and still make money themselves.

This would help get them out of the game of competing with YouTube on social networking features. That’s a game they’re clearly going to lose. But even better, Google could then operate as the search engine for all the videos they host. That’s their business, after all. Currently YouTube is getting a ton of video search traffic. But if Google hosted everybody else’s videos, then they could index all that metadata and provide a great search experience on top of the content – and then they could advertise around the results. I think they’ve proven that approach works pretty well for web search.

Update: Here is google’s new video page, inspired by YouTube. Note Google video moving to the Google home page as well. Oh well, good luck guys. Note the MTV deal, however, which does make a lot of sense. Perhaps the consumer visibility is just an attempt to grab mindshare so they can do more deals like this.

1 comment so far

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