I’ve just seen the news that Google has decided to close Google video, fairly obvious in light of Google owning YouTube but what is surprising has been the approach to existing customers and the content they’ve already ‘paid for’.
In an email to customers Google explains that they’ll no longer be able to view content they’ve already rented/purchased, instead they’ll be credited with funds in Google Checkout (Google’s online payment system). In essence Google is making this content obsolete – great.
Quote of the day has to go to David Card from Jupiter:
“We’ve seen a physical format-device combo go out of manufacture before: wax cylinders, 8-tracks. But can you think of any consumer-purchased medium that actually becomes unusable while there are players that still work?”
David is so right; this is crazy and will undermine consumer trust (which is hardly strong) in digital content. Already an over complicated area (DRM etc) but when a digital brand, as large as Google, does something like this it only serves to undermine smaller content companies ability to build trust with their customers.
Progression? I don’t think so.