Google will face challenges with its acquisition of YouTube, according to analysts.
Gartner believes that the purchase presents Google with an opportunity to tap the advertising market of a lucrative video brand, but copyright hurdles must be cleared before that can happen.
A significant amount of content on YouTube includes copyrighted material, often lifted from broadcast TV, DVDs and CDs.
Brand advertisers, in the main, are unwilling to place their adverts alongside stolen or controversial material, according to Gartner.
YouTube claims to be introducing technology that identifies copyrighted material, but such efforts have been largely unsuccessful, marred by false positives and significant errors that go unmissed.
YouTube and Google face the burden of proving to advertisers that they will be able to resolve this issue without alienating their audience.
Gartner also believes that Google's integration strategy for YouTube is unclear. The search giant says that YouTube will remain independent, but it believes that YouTube videos are likely to play a prominent role in Google Video's search results.
YouTube already has business relationships with rich-media search providers, such as Blinkx, to which they provide a regular content feed, so Google will need to innovate aggressively if it seeks to differentiate its use of YouTube's content in its video search.
Finally, YouTube's business relationships with media companies, including Warner Music, NBC, CBS, Sony BMG and Universal Music, provide a tantalising opportunity for Google to extend its core AdSense network into premium video content of very high value to advertisers.
This may well have been the primary motivation behind the deal, according to Gartner. Before Google and YouTube can achieve the payout, they must prove that they have a cure for the copyright problem.
Gartner urges technology providers developing copyright detection and protection technology to focus on speed-to-market and scalable integration with human-supported operations.
Premium content providers and advertisers should wait until Google and YouTube can truly provide a safe venue for advertisers and premium content without compromising the site's attractiveness.
The two companies have not cornered the market on consumer video partners. Video Egg, Revver, vSocial and Reality Digital, among others, not only offer the same functions and services as YouTube, but provide so-called 'white label' application service provider solutions for networks and studios that wish to retain their brand name in future online video services.
Google YouTube success 'not a given'
By Will Head on Oct 16, 2006 10:07AM