Google stops selling video

It's hard to sell something when everyone's giving it away, including you. Google is shutting down its pay and rental online video business, according to several reports. Google will continue to maintain its video website, but the purchase option will go away. Customers were said to be notified Friday that the content for sale or rent on Google Video would disappear Aug. 15.

Google unveiled its video store at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2006, and started peddling fare such as episodes of the TV series "Survivor" for $1.99. Less than a year later, it laid out $1.65 billion for YouTube, where free video is propagated faster than spam e-mails for cheap mortgages and counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

Unfortunately, it appears that whoever actually bought video from Google won't be able to view it after the purchase site is shut down. Those who bought video before July 18 will get a consolation prize of a $2 credit good for 60 days on purchases from other Google retailers. That should go a long way in encouraging online video sales for other e-tailers.

For more:
- ars technica provides coverage here
gizmodo has posted the Google kiss-off email here