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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Charlie Rose Got It Right

I don't know who Charlie Rose is specifically, I hadn't heard of him until today. I've learned, though, that he is a "public television staple". So why do I care and what has he gotten right?

Well apparently copies of Charlie's show are going to be available online through Google's new video offering. Google makes a couple good decisions. The first is to enter in to the video market. I talked in my last post about the possibility of Google hitting $600/share. This would be unlikely with their heavy dependence on advertising for the main source of profit. With their video offering Google gets 30 percent of the revenue. Just like any other market, as the online advertising market matures it becomes cheaper for competitors to enter the market, so profit margins go down and competition intensifies. The second good decision was to let content suppliers set their own price. This allows the marketplace to determine the value of these videos: if a supplier set the value to high the video won't get purchased.

Where Google made their mistake was inventing their own copy protection technology adding another format to an already saturated market. There's now four major copy protection technologies: Microsoft, Apple, Sony (stay away from this one) and Google. What does this do? It prevents any but the most loyal and trusting from immediately adopting this service. When will these companies learn that success is going to be found in a universal format? Because of Apple's ease of use, and cultural icon status, I think Google made a mistake doing this. With iTunes, you download a video and it puts it right on your iPod for you, no work on your part. Google's got a huge hill to climb to compete there, especially if only unrestricted content can be placed on media players since Google currently doesn't offer one.

So getting back to Charlie Rose, he got it right because his videos will be offered through Google's service unrestricted, meaning they can be put on various media devices, and won't require an internet connection to verify the right to play them. If only all the other content providers would be so smart and follow suit. If I purchase it from, let me own it and do with it what I will. Until then all you do is give people a reason to pirate it in order to have the right to do that.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Six Hundred A Share

A lot has been made about Google making, or not making, $600/share sometime this year. MSNBC.com, for example, had an article about it today.

I'd say if they venture into the consumer PC market, with a multimedia PC running their own operating system for somewhere around $200 available at Walmart they've got a pretty good chance.

(Thanks to TS for the link.)