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Search engines launch video war now
The Internet biggies like Google, Yahoo and MSN have geared up thier serives to take on the new entrant YouTube, which has excelled as a video-sharing platform.
THE CONCEPT OF sharing videos online has become such a rage these days that even the start-up web sites like YouTube.com are giving the major players Yahoo and Google a run for their money. YouTube allows users share their original videos of any length online.
 
According to Nielsen/NetRatings, a USA-based company that provides Internet and digital media measurement and analysis, YouTube received around 12.51 million visitors in April 2006 in the USA. In comparison, Yahoo Video had 2.63 million visitors in the same period.
 
Analysts believe that the success of YouTube even prompted Yahoo and Google to revamp their video services. Recently, Yahoo upgraded its Yahoo Video Search web site and re-braded it as Yahoo Video, which enable users to access not only the most popular and relevant videos on the Internet, but also allow them to post and share their clips online. Yahoo even let users to share video via Yahoo Mail and Messenger.
                       
Google, a major player in the search engine industry, has also upgraded its video service to make it easier for users to upload videos on the web site. Although, most of its services are offered free of cost, the company charge for premium content it acquires from CBS and other media companies. In fact, Google has taken a step further by launching a new section Google Video Movie Previews that allow users to watch trailers of newly released or forthcoming films.
 
The search engine MSN has also joined the bandwagon and launched MSN Originals. The company has partnered with Reveille, a Hollywood production studio and distribution company, and Be Jane Inc, a multimedia content producer, to source original content for its video service web site.
 
These video services can also gain popularity in India. Abhishek Kumar, an avid Internet user, says, ‘I use sites like Ringo, Orkut and Frienster on a regular basis. These sites help me in keeping my friends posted about me and vice-versa. I regularly put my photos and other details on these sites and remain in touch with my friends. Now that I have heard that Yahoo has come up with a facility to share videos online, I think it would be a useful tool for many people like me. Having the option of sharing videos online would not only help people to constantly remain in touch but it would also enable them to share interesting clips with others.’
 
However, Roopa Gupta, a research analysts who keeps a vigil on new technologies, says, ‘For such web sites to perform stupendously in India, the Internet connection would have to be improved drastically. The Internet connection is also dependent on the penetration of computers in the country, so the success of such sites would be directly prepositional to the infrastructure upgradation.’
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