Google Plots On E-Books And Games

    January 22, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The new year finally seems to be on track, as new rumors about Google merrily bounced around the Internet, bringing tales of e-book distribution and in-game advertising with them.

Google Plots On E-Books And Games
How Will Google Distribute Those Ebooks?

Reading books online has never grabbed people in the way viewing video online has. Spending too much time staring at a wall of text on a screen tends to be tiring. It isn’t for lack of effort on the parts of many technology companies over the past few years.

Google may take up that challenge next. The Times of London cited a Google source in reporting a possible team-up between the search advertising company and several top publishers:

Jens Redmer, director of Google Book Search in Europe, said: “We are working on a platform that will let publishers give readers full access to a book online.”

He did not believe taking books online would mean the end of the printed word but it would give readers more options when it came to buying. “You may just want to rent a travel guide for the holiday or buy a chapter of a book. Ultimately, it will be the readers who decide how books are read,” he said.

Accomplishing this will require the usual features, like a mechanism to download the e-book and a method of formatting it to look decent on a computer screen. The possibilities for e-books could be extended to portable devices, like mobiles.

There’s just one little obstacle to this idea. That would be the combined lawsuit Google faces in the US judicial system. The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers consider Google’s book scanning to be copyright infringement and contend Google’s opt-out procedure is an unsatisfactory solution to the problem.

We’ll venture a guess that Google and Adobe will find a way to make the technical aspects of protecting and distributing digital books work for publishers and readers.

On its advertising side, plenty of chatter has been made over the possibility that Google will purchase Adscape Media, an in-game advertising technology company. Microsoft owns Massive, a company they purchased last year to provide a similar service.

If Google grabs Adscape Media this week as the Wall Street Journal expects them to do, Google will have an avenue to drop its ads into Web-connected games. This benefits Google for a couple of significant reasons.

First, like Microsoft’s Massive, Adscape would give Google access to the fervently desired young male demographic, who demonstrate by playing online games that they aren’t consuming other media like television. Second, Google can charge a premium for those ads, considering the audience they are intended to reach.

That would leave the problem of creating ads appropriate to their settings. A Nissan Titan may be a great pickup truck, but running an ad for it in World of Warcraft or Star Wars Galaxies will irritate gamers more than anything. Google could be limited in its ad placements within games for this reason.


Add to | Digg | Reddit | Furl

Bookmark WebProNews:

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.