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Google video sales 'miniscule,' media strategy conflicted

updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue March 13, 2012

Android media and YouTube divisions at odds

Google's difficulty competing with Apple in media may be a virtue of problems with its own internal culture based on investigations brought to light on Tuesday. CNET understood that executives behind Google's VP of global content, Robert Kyncl, complained that the content strategy was "fragmented" and working in separate directions. Content partners have complained both that Google's actual content lagged Apple's and that the Android and YouTube teams didn't appear to be coordinating with each other.

Negotiations for Google Music reportedly created surprise among labels, who didn't see any connection to YouTube despite its reputation for music videos and its serving as the current framework for Vevo. Rumors have swirled of Vevo jumping to Facebook as a content host.

Paid video services might be faring poorly at the same time. Similar to early Google Music results, the video store (now Google Play Movies) was said by a studio source to have "miniscule" income from its purchases and rentals.

An official response from Google dismissed the idea there was any conflict, and said its approach "varies" depending on the partners and content. There were sometimes where divisions worked together and sometimes independently, it said, but it coordinated between them in "all cases." However, when asked who made decisions on content, the company said in equal measure that both Kyncl and mobile VP Andy Rubin made decisions on content.

Books, movies, and music were added to Android Market in the past year and a half to give Android, and to a lesser extent the desktop, a content ecosystem much like the one Apple had established years earlier for iOS and iPod devices through iTunes. The reasons behind the slow adoption haven't been mentioned, but splintering of OS versions, devices, and regional rollouts may have made getting access more difficult. It was only this month's consolidation under the Google Play Store that the search firm had its various stores under a clear, unified banner.

By Electronista Staff


  1. bigmig

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2004



    Why would I be willing to pay for content if I'm using a free OS?

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    iOS is free. Try it.

    @ bigmig re: "Why would I be willing to pay for content if I'm using a free OS?"

    Works fine for Apple. iOS is free in case you hadn't noticed.

    Oh, and the correct spelling is "minuscule."

  1. tightzeit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2006


    Re: iOS is free

    No, Apple pay for the OS development by operating a cashflow positive business model.

    Google is using a loss-leader by giving their work away for free in order to generate income on the backend. bigmig is correct in the assertion that Samsung or any other manufacturer that implements Android has not paid for the IP used in the OS. Apple on the other hand, accounts for that development cost in their pricing. Samsung doesn't have to. It's a free OS.

    The phone wouldn't work without an OS, so it's an essential part of the phone.

    And of course it's true because the stats show it, the appstore is significantly more profitable because people who buy iphones and ipods are generally more willing to pay for apps, even though there are a huge number of free apps for both platforms.

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