Google has a vision for the future of video sharing, and it revolves around international content and economies of scale for advertisers.
"Media companies don't want to salt the earth," said Hunter Walk, product manager for Google Video, during a panel discussion at Streaming Media West yesterday. "They want a sustainable business model. Our responsibility is to work with them to figure that out."
Walk said that it's not feasible for advertisers, who need to buy inventory in large chunks, to advertise on blogs or smaller sites. That could be one reason why Google recently announced a Sponsored Videos component to Google Video. Producers with large libraries of content can apply to participate in Sponsored Videos and share the resultant ad revenue with Google.
Google's advertiser-centric worldview is also, of course, a great reason for it to purchase YouTube, which owns the world's largest online video catalog.
Walk said that future growth in online video would come from countries outside the United States. "One of the opportunities we're going to be seeing is international," Walk said. "There will be more and more international stories."
A Google drive to take advantage of international communities would go well with Google's international efforts in other areas. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said earlier this year that Google would be most focused on mobile and international applications. Broadband access is currently growing quickest in south Asian countries, and Internet-connected mobile products are more prevalent than PCs.
Walk said Google is also looking into making video sites more sticky. He noted that when a viewer goes to a video site, it's usually because a friend recommended a specific video. The drop-off rate after that video is considerable. "How do we get you to watch that second video?" he said.