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Google Video Shuttering

13 Aug, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

About 18 months after proponents claimed Google Video would democratize the film distribution business, parent Google Inc. said it would pull the plug Aug. 15.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search behemoth last week sent e-mails to users informing them of the pending closure and reportedly offered $2 in online retail credit to users who purchased content prior to July 18.

The nascent market for downloading movies and television content from the Internet has received major press despite the fact sales generated by third-party sites represent a minute fraction of total filmed entertainment revenue.

Google appeared to sense a lull in video downloads last October when it paid $1.65 billion to acquire community video sharing site YouTube.

Last week market research firm Parks Associates found that just 13% of consumers polled found video downloads reasonably priced and 16% said the selection of online videos was good.

“Google Video was a failure,” Charlene Li, an analyst with Forrester Research told The Los Angeles Times. “They focused on video while YouTube focused on community around video.”

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