Jennifer Feikin, who runs Google Video, spoke today at the Digital Living Room conference in Foster City, Calif. She made some interesting quasi-announcements about the company's future plans for delivering video content - and charging for it.
"The next step - in the near-term - is to have a service where users can pay to download content," she said. Content owners [can] set the price for their content. That will bring on a whole category of content owners who want to be paid for their content." She says that Google will test different price points.
Someone in the audience asked her about advertising. "It's definitely something we're looking into," she says. Later, she adds, "Anything we do with advertising will be about pleasing the user. It'll be simple, like our homepage." When Google figures out how to place relevant ad spots before a clip of video - as they've done with text ads on Web pages - look out.
She says that Google Video is intentionally "different from [Apple's] iTunes [Music Store.] It's not just about the popular entertainment content. We want the MIT Open Courseware lectures - also the travelogues [and the] surgeries." While Apple's service has so far been tilted to help big media companies make money, it sounds like Google intends to be more egalitarian, helping indie filmmakers and documentarians earn a dime.
I've got more comprehensive notes on my blog, CinemaTech.