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Google Launches Video Search Service

Google has launched a new video search service, which lets users search closed-captioned texts and view indexed video on a Google-branded video viewer. The service includes video provided by CNN, PBS, Unicef, Greenpeace and CNET Networks, among others. For now, the service is free to use and does not display advertisements, although Google aims to eventually offer hosting of independently produced video and allow producers to charge viewers, taking a cut for itself. Google Video is only available in English, and the video viewer works only with Internet Explorer versions 5 and higher and Firefox for Windows. There are no advertisements on the site yet. The service is another step in the search giant's expansion into more comprehensive media services. Google has confirmed it is working on a payment system but says it will not be a direct competitor to eBay's PayPal online payment system. However, there is ample speculation that the payment system will enable more broad-based video viewing. Google is the only search provider that has all the pieces to bring movies on demand via Internet to the masses, said Allen Weiner, an analyst at Gartner. Google will be able to charge per-view or subscription fees, as well as insert ads into the video stream, he said.

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