A few months ago I wrote a piece called Will subscription media kill broadcast? in which I stuck on the internet my long-held belief that the six major players in the distribution of pay-for video content online (the long-term replacements for large broadcasters) would be Amazon, AOL, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!.
If I’m honest, these predictions were not enormously hard to make, and it isn’t an enormous surprise to see the number of those companies that are distributing or have announced they are going to be distributing TV shows increase to four. Google are the latest to announce their plans to open an online video store (their press release). More importantly, it’s a completely open and neutral platform that will allow anyone to sell video (again – this time a litlte more smugly – as I predicted in this line, “If they have any sense, they’ll find ways to turn their hub status into a platform for a complete democratisation of content, becoming almost neutral intermediaries for large & small companies and creative individuals to put up and distribute their programming as they see fit.”)
The most interesting part of the whole enterprise is the debate about Google DRM. They’ve announced that the video will be DRM-able, but I’ve not had an enormous amount of luck finding out information about the approach they’re taking. Has anyone heard any more about this?