This week’s newly launched Google Video Store has been very badly received by the press and the blogosphere (“So far it’s just a really crap web site,” writes The Register‘s Ashley Vance). Personally I am very disappointed that the TV shows available in the new video store (CSI, Survivor, Star Trek, to name a few) are not available outside the United States.
Earlier this week it would still let you view the first 30 seconds of each video, but you needed a credit card with a U.S. billing address to buy the rest. Now it seems that Google is using geolocation to determine the location of the visitor and users outside the U.S. get a blunt “We’re sorry, but this video is not available in your country” message when clicking on certain videos. Most TV shows downloadable from Apple’s iTunes are also not available outside the U.S., but I was hoping that Google would be different. Alas, that is not the case.
The reason for this is that non-U.S. countries are often 6 months or more behind on U.S. TV episodes, and TV advertisers around the world do not want to see their revenue go down from viewers turning off their TV and turning on their computer instead.
Google will need to do a lot of negotiating with foreign TV stations to find a away around this, but it would certainly be worth their while; 11 sites in the top 100 most popular global sites are international Google sites (#17 is google.co.jp, #18 is google.co.uk, #37 is google.de, #38 is google.es, …). From our household alone the revenue would be significent if they’d offer TV shows to us in the Netherlands. 😉