Google announced that it’s going to imprint a tracking algorithm being referred to as a “fingerprint” on video media for it’s video systems (Google Video and YouTube). I had conversations with colleague Jeff Scott over coffee, and we came up with some interesting risk analysis. While the media industry breathes a sigh of relief, what are the business and user impacts for such a system?
Potential risks and considerations:
1) This finger printing system, which is likely invisible to users, could decisively leave small pixels that could eventually be added to create a unique identifier. Sadly, there’s no security system ever that is fool proof.
2) For Google, this could be a media lock in process. Media companies that want to play on the world wide web would go through Google to submit video and for it to become imprinted with the fingerprint.
3) With trust increasing for online distribution, Google will become the IPTV player of choice, furthering it’s mission to organize the world’s information –and generate contextual advertising dollars.
4) Google becomes the cop, and has the power. As Google builds the security system, they become the single police force, and continue to maintain more control.
Other options for media brands
What should Media brands consider before jumping onto Google’s priopriatary security system? Seek other forms of fingerprinting and watermarket, and consider deploying video on other platforms, not just on Google. I expect other video fingerprinting systems to appear that can be leased or sold to media companies, giving more control over content.
So before we embrace the much needed tracking system, let’s first look at the impacts it could have on online media, although dominant, Google is not the only video platform to consider.