. . . Monday January 9, 2006

What’s With the Google Video Store?

Hey, is it my imagination, or is the first really bad product Google has launched?

The dropdown nav disappears when you leave the front page.

There are about 9 music videos for sale.

Why not be the search engine and not the store? I don’t get it. I know these are the first hours of the service, but I just don’t understand the move.

Even if the service was better, why be a store? Why not leave that to the YouTubes and the other Web 2.0 video players starting to emerge? Let them run thoses businesses and then market their wares through Google. I feel the same way about the book digitization project. Let someone else do the scanning. Consumers can find the stuff through Google later on.

Why get into the content business when that other little business called search is the one everyone else wishes they were in?

Am I missing something?

Update: After about a week, it’s getting better. More content is up there and you can now embed a Google video to be played in your own site or blog (good move). But I still have a concern about the overall move. I’d rather see Google be the finder of stuff and not the direct seller of stuff.

These moves make it all the more clear that the biggest challenge for Google (like Yahoo and MSN) in coming years will be a UI challenge. How do they effectively surface all their wares to folks who are visiting the site to do one thing? It’s their biggest challenge and it’s the biggest opportunity for small players.

Update 2: Google sort of agrees…

Concentration is important!