Many outlets, starting with Allan Stern at CenterNetworks, reported over the weekend that Google Video is finally doing away with hosting. Two years ago the service stopped allowing new video uploads but said it would continue to host videos that had already been uploaded to the system.
No longer. Everything must be downloaded and moved to YouTube. However you’ve got less than a month (until May 13) to download any videos from Google Video.
The following is from the letter that went out to Google Video users:
Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we’re removing the remaining hosted content. We’ve always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.
On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)
It’s worth remembering that when Google acquired YouTube in October 2006 both Google and the media saw the site as much as a “social network” as a video portal. The YouTube community and its activity were the big topic of discussion. At the time, it’s fair to say, Google thought it was buying a social network and not merely a “video search” site, which is what Google Video was. (Although capturing TV advertising dollars was also a motivation for the acquisition.)
No matter, YouTube is obviously a marquee property for Google and helping the company’s display ads business grow significantly. And YouTube is slowly morphing into Google Video — or Google’s original vision for Google Video — a massive index of video content with a healthy slice of premium programming.
Google hopes that YouTube will become a near-term rival to Netflix and Hulu and has been working away on the deals to realize that vision.