May 23, 2006
In the '90's venture guys were afraid to back startups that would compete with Microsoft.
Today's Microsoft is Google.
For those of us who invest in consumer internet ventures, the "why couldn't Google do this and crush you?" question is a pretty common refrain.
I recently (like, this morning) had a very close encounter with the Google factor.
Over the past couple of months I've spent some time with a very talented entrepreneur who is building a self serve network for video ads, or, in other words, an "adsense for video" product.
I have to say I found the proposition pretty intriguing, though at the end of the day (last Friday, actually) we decided to pass on the opportunity. The Google question was one of a few factors that pushed me over the edge.
And what do I read in TechCrunch this morning? Sure enough, Google has come out with a PPC video ad product or, in other words, adsense for video.
TechCrunch has a good description/discussion on Google's move, and lots of comments worth crusing through. Michael Arrington and the bulk of the comments don't think Google's move was a good one.
Personally, I am predicting that, over time, this is going to prove to be a pretty successful play. The biggest question I have is not whether Google's PPC video ads will work for advertisers and generate revenue — they will — but rather what content will prove most fertile for this genre of ads. It is not clear to me that run of the mill text content will prove to be a good medium for a video ad product; however, as the web itself goes multimedia, it only stands to reason that ads will to. Google might be early, but I for one think they are on to something.