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Google Takes Blame For Video Fallout

21 Aug, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Google Inc. is offering consumers of Google Video's shuttered download to own/rent service full refunds in place of online credit.

The search behemoth last week announced it would refocus Google Video engineering efforts toward ad-supported monetization business models and said all downloaded content would be inactive beginning Aug. 15.

The nascent market for downloading movies and television content from the Internet via third-party sites, including Apple Inc.'s iTunes, represents just a minute fraction of total filmed entertainment revenue.

Google had offered credit vouchers to consumers with unused download credit on the service, a move some critics labeled self-serving.

Google apparently agreed.

Back stepping from claims it couldn't refund consumers' credit cards due to logistical problems, Google said it would issue credit card refunds for all video content-purchased dependent upon receiving accurate billing information.

It also said it would make available all video streams for another six months but wouldn't offer any more download-to-own content.

Users who already received Google credit can keep it in addition to the credit card rebate.

“We should have anticipated that some users would see a [Google] checkout credit as nothing more than an extra step of a different (and annoyingly self-serving) kind. Our bad,” said Bindu Reddy, Google Video product manager, in a statement. “We make mistakes; we do our best not to repeat them — and we really do try to fix the ones we make.”

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