It has been announced that Google has acquired the online video platform company Episodic. According to their official website, “Episodic truly spans the video value chain and provides everything publishers and marketers need to manage, measure and monetize online video”.
Monetize online video. That’s been somewhat of a challenge for Google. While video sites that provide television content such as Hulu are now profitable, YouTube is not so easy to monetize. That’s because many video clips on the site lack commercial appeal. How do you find ways to advertise to an audience that likes to watch a cat playing the piano? That’s hard to determine.
Enter Episodic. Read Write Web reports they have been working with companies like Showtime’s Sports division to stream live online video for a fee, which is television content experience that YouTube doesn’t really have. This is like Google getting some of the expertise that Hulu already has, which by the way is a joint venture between NBC Universal, Disney and News Corporation. Hulu monetizes their content through a clever method of advertising prior to showing videos, and sometimes even allows users to choose the ads that they will watch.
With the flurry of news about the iPad release this week, this acquisition along with Google’s recent purchase of video codec developers On2 will end up being a good strategic decision if the intention is to compete with Apple on content in a model that is different – offering video to users for free, but at the same time finding a way to make money from advertising.