Yesterday Google released a video player for Mac OSX. On the surface that might not seem like big news. Google Video still looks like a picked-over flea market. Meanwhile, iTunes is on a roll – offering over 250 programs for download. Google is clearly playing catch up in the online video market – and not very well.
While Google has failed to make a dent with its video store, it may have better luck with its video DRM system. Yesterday’s release of the OSX video player wasn’t so much about supporting the Mac platform as it was about making the Google Video DRM system available cross-platform.
Now that iTunes and last month’s NCAA tournament have proven that there’s a market for television programming online, the networks are racing to put as much programming as possible (within the limitations of their affiliate agreements) on the web.
Given the fact that television has always been a mass medium you would expect network executives would be lining up get their programming on the big portals like Yahoo. As it turns out, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, some network executives are starting to have second thoughts about sharing their programming with technology companies.
It’s no secret that all of us at Medialoper love The Office. The program is brilliant on a consistent basis, and NBC has been innovative in extending the show’s reach to the web with blogs, MySpace profiles, and online video. In many respects, The Office is the embodiment of the type of media convergence that we cover here on a regular basis.
There’s just one annoying problem that keeps The Office from being perfect in every way. I almost always have problems watching the video extras on The Office website. At various points in time I’ve tested just about every combination of operating system and web browser known to mankind, and most of them fail.
There have been reports in the last week or so that Apples “true” video iPod — the one where the entire front part of the player was both a viewscreen and a track wheel — has been substantially delayed.
Once rumoured for release as possibly as soon as this month, it looks more like Q4 this year is a more realistic release date. Sure, while product delays are often met with predictions of outright disaster — hello HD-DVD! — in this case, I think it’s actually a case of where a outwardly bad situation will pay off dividends down the road.