Friday, June 23, 2006

Google launches free Internet movies supported by sponsors

Google is now becoming a driver in the move toward free online TV and movies as they launch a bunch of free movies at Google Video supported by advertising.

Videos now accessible for free include movies such as Charlie Chaplin classics that previously cost 99 cents, episodes of the Mr. Magoo cartoon series that had cost $1.99 and wrestling matches that were $4.95.

Small graphical ads for advertisers including Burger King and Netflix appear above the videos, with short video commercials for them at the end of featured video content. Google said that fewer than 10 advertisers were currently involved in the test.

But this will take off, so assume this is just the tip of the iceberg and the first steps in a world where in very short order online viewers will access most TV programs and movies for free, while watching ads. The sponsors will pay the fees, not us. Watch out iTunes!

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