Friday, August 04, 2006

More AOL Video Thoughts

I see that AOL Video has already assigned numbers to the History Channel (1797) and the Biography Channel (1798), but neither channel appears in the list of television channels in the left menu. If you deep link to the front pages for these channels, you'll find that no shows are listed. Does this mean that you'll only find shows on AOL Video that are already available on iTunes? And does this mean that iTunes will release shows from the History and Biography channels in the very near future?

If you haven't noticed, AOL Video offers about 150 eps from TV shows for purchase and all of these vids are already part of iTunes collection of nearly 3500 TV eps.

I also wonder whether AOL has some lack of oversight or whether they weren't allowed to release entire seasons for some shows. For instance, AOL has every ep for season 1 of ''Laguna Beach,'' except eps 6 & 7. ''South of Nowhere'' is missing eps 1, 7, 8 & 10.

Finally, I find it curious that AOL Video is going to act like a drunkard weaving back and forth across the line of copyright law. AOL sells videos and, I assume, distributes cash to the appropriate parties. AOL also allows you to view vids for free as long as you watch a commercial and, I assume again, distributes commercial revenue to the right people. Their much-heralded video search will return results from the copyright holders — broadband channels run or endorsed by production companies — and copyright violators.

I can't wait to see how this copyright aspect affects their search strategy.

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